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‘THAI Smile Air’ opens first route, Bangkok-Macau, July 1

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BANGKOK, Feb 3 - THAI Smile Air, Thai Airways International (THAI)'s new sub-brand carrier, will begin its first operational flight July 1 from Bangkok to Macau.

THAI Executive Vice President for Strategy and Business Development, Chokchai Panyayong, spoke after a board meeting which also approved business plans for both THAI and its new airline.

Flight captains and cabin crew are ready for THAI Smile Air’s operations, he said.

The first route to Macau will operate two flights daily. Tickets will begin being sold in April. The passenger load is expected to reach over 70 per cent per flight.

Four aircraft are to be operated this year for the main routes from the Thai capital to Chiang Mai, Phuket, Kolkata, Jakarta, and Phnom Penh.

The airline’s name ‘THAI Smile Air’ was approved in August last year by the THAI executive board.

According to THAI President Piyasvasti Amranand, the new carrier is positioned to be a light-premium sub-brand of THAI, offering passengers another option for flight services.

The airline’s image will be based on a trendy, friendly and worthy concept, different than the general concept of other low-cost airliners.

Regarding Thai Airways International, the board also approved THAI’s strategic plan for 2012-2018 and its business plan for 2012-2013. Under the plan, the national flag carrier will be modernised, with 51 aircraft to be decommissioned, and a new fleet of 56 aircraft will be acquired, 26 of which will be purchased and 30 will be acquired through leasing.

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