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Old October 31st, 2005, 09:36 AM   #181
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THAI int`l airways starts operation from Bangkok to Islamabad: GG Jamal

ISLAMABAD: Federal Minister for Tourism, Dr. G. G. Jamal has said on Sunday that the Thai Airways International will be starting their operation from Bangkok directly to Islamabad and Islamabad to Bangkok.

He stated that the government has given approval to Thai airways, in order to enhance the Tourism of Pakistan in the Northern Areas. But keeping in mind the present circumstances, it be helpful in relief and rehabilitation efforts too, he added. The Minister said that it would indeed boost up the spirit of cooperation.

The first flight will be landing with passengers on the 2nd November 2005 at Islamabad International airport. The Thai Airways International is arranging for a reception ceremony for this first flight and Federal Minister for Tourism, Dr. G. G. Jamal will be a chief guest at the occasion.
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Old October 31st, 2005, 02:11 PM   #182
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Thai Airways, China Eastern Airlines launch code-sharing service

BANGKOK, Oct 31 (AFP) - Thailand's national carrier Thai Airways said Monday it has launched a code-sharing service with China Eastern Airlines in a bid to further boost tourism and business trips between the two countries.

The code-sharing pact, which came into effect on Sunday, covers daily flights between Bangkok and Shanghai, one of the most popular Asian routes for the Thai airliner.

"There is already strong demand for business trips and tourism between Thailand and China and we hope that the code-sharing will increase the demand further," said a spokeswoman for the Thai airliner.

The Thai airline currently serves over 73 destinations worldwide while China Eastern Airlines, one of China's top three carriers, operates more than 60 international routes.
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Old November 2nd, 2005, 02:52 AM   #183
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THAI chooses Arinc communication system

Thai Airways International Plc has entered into a contract with Arinc Incorporated, an air transport communications and systems provider, to provide telecommunications services between Bangkok and its offices in Dubai, Milan, Munich, Incheon, Busan and London. Arinc will provide THAI with a Muse Link managed Internet protocol network service, which allows multiple airlines at each airport to share the costs of local network infrastructure.

Source : Bangkokpost : Nov 3, 2005
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Old November 2nd, 2005, 07:48 PM   #184
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Regular THAI flights to Moscow

Thai Airways International (THAI) has become the 15th foreign airline to fly regularly to Moscow, said officials at Domodedovo International Airport in the Russian capital.


THAI on Tuesday started a regular service between Bangkok and Moscow. During the 2005-06 winter season, it will fly the route three times a week – on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays.

Moscow Domodedovo International Airport, operated by the East Line Group, has received a certificate confirming its compliance with the requirements of the ICAO Category III A, as more global airlines start flying to Russia’s busiest airport.

A range of work to bring the airport’s standards in line with the ICAO (International Civil Aviation Organisation) standards and Russian regulations allow Domodedovo to become the only all-weather airport in the country to operate without any restrictions.

Honeywell Airport Systems GmbH, a general contractor, reconstructed the airport’s second runway to comply with ICAO requirements. In accordance with the requirements, the ILS 410/DME FSD-40 landing system produced by Germany-based Tales ATM was installed.

Source : THE NATION : Nov 3, 2005
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Old November 3rd, 2005, 04:40 PM   #185
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Struggling Thai Airways extends term of interim boss

BANGKOK, Nov 3 (AFP) - Struggling Thai Airways International said Thursday it has approved a three-month extension of presidential duties by a former permanent secretary of the finance ministry, the airline's biggest shareholder.

Somchainuk Engtrakul will continue working as the company's president until February 2006. His original term expires November 10, the company said.

He took the post in August to overhaul the money-losing national carrier after his predecessor, Kanok Abhiradee, was suspended for three months to take responsibility for the company's worst financial loss.

The airline reported a loss of 4.78 billion baht (117 million dollars) in the three months to June after being hammered by skyrocketing jet fuel costs and increased personnel expenses.

The company said Thursday its board also approved the creation of three new subsidiaries for airport ticket sales, tour packages and human resources.

Thai's finance ministry is the airline's biggest shareholder with a 54.21-percent stake.
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Old November 7th, 2005, 03:39 AM   #186
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THAI's 2006 profit 'at least Bt10 billion'
6 November 2005
The Nation

Thai Airways International Plc's net profit will bounce back from last fiscal year's slide below Bt10 billion thanks to contributions from new ancillary businesses and the opening of Suvarnabhumi Airport, Finance Minister Thanong Bidaya predicted yesterday.

Thanong said after visiting the headquarters of THAI that the airline's net profit this fiscal year, which started last month, should reach Bt10 billion. The main factors for the rebound would be an internal restructuring, modernisation of its information system, expansion of its fleet and improvements in domestic operations.

In the last fiscal year's first nine months ended June 30, THAI's net profit fell to Bt4.4 billion after suffering an eye-popping Bt4.8-billion loss in the third quarter due to rising oil prices and a new wage structure. Thanong said THAI's income statement should return to the black in the quarter ended September 30.

THAI's net profit normally ranges between Bt10 billion and Bt12 billion a year.

The board's recent decision to spin off three operations should not affect THAI's core business, because the new subsidiaries are expected to handle complementary activities, he said.

A foreign analyst, who requested anonymity, said the spin-off was a sound business decision. "Now you will be able to see which business units are under-performing," he said.

THAI issued a press release to explain that hiving off non-core businesses would not result in layoffs.

"In today's era of conducting business, it is vital and necessary to establish subsidiaries, as it allows the company to have increased flexibility and leverage to manage its business in the competitive airline industry," said Wanchai Sarathulthat, THAI's chairman. "The initial step undertaken has been to establish subsidiaries that are newly set up, with no effect on employees currently working for the company. The company will also recruit new hires for those subsidiaries."

One new company will manage airport projects, including Shah Amanat International Airport in Chittagong, Bangladesh, and the airport in Krabi.

Another company will manage airline human resources and the THAI Aviation Research Institute.

The remaining unit will handle airline ticket sales and tour packages.

The national carrier's performance was pressured last year due to jet fuel prices, which jumped by 30-40 per cent, Thanong said.

The foreign analyst said he sees calmer weather for THAI this year after last year's turbulence from oil prices, lower inbound traffic following the tsunami and the salary adjustment for THAI employees earlier in the year.

"This fiscal year should be better because these factors are likely to go away. Oil prices this year should go down from last year's level and THAI is unlikely to spend a lot to pump up employees' salaries again," the analyst said.

Phatra Securities Plc said in a research paper that the outlook for THAI is brighter this year due to a recovery in foreign arrivals and expanded capacity.

"We attributed the growth to a combination of increased affordability, more aggressive marketing, cheaper flights in real terms, enlightened open-skies agreements and visa policies towards key markets such as China and India and the emergence of low-cost regional airlines and geopolitical factors," it said.

The Finance Ministry is the major shareholder of THAI.
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Old November 11th, 2005, 09:14 AM   #187
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Thai Airways International to serve Special Menu to Celebrate H.M. the King of Thailand's Birthday
9 November 2005




Thai Airways International is to celebrate His Majesty the King of Thailand’s Birthday on December 5, 2005 by offering special inflight menus, prepared with ingredients from the Royal Projects Foundation, Doy Intanond. These menus are specially prepared for passengers traveling THAI’s international flights departing Bangkok International Airport between 4-6 December 2005. The airline will serve special inflight menus to passengers in Royal First Class, Business Class, and Economy Class, as follows:
Lobster Medallian

In Royal First Class a first course of Lobster Medallian, with chicken breast roll stuffed with goose liver paté as a European style main course. Also, passengers may select a Thai style main course such as Tab Tim fish homok or a typical Thai omelet stuffed with minced prawn, served with Thai rice. Special homemade ice cream with rum and fruits will be served as dessert.

In Business Class and Economy Class a first course featuring a salad with deep-fried trout from the Royal Projects. Main course of Tab Tim fish homok and a Thai omelet with onions, served with Thai rice. In addition, THAI will serve Doi Tung macadamia nuts baked egg custard.

The special inflight menus help to promote Thai ingredients and herbs worldwide under the vision of “Charm of Thai Cuisine” and also help promote products from the Royal Projects and local agricultural products to people on an international basis.
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Old November 25th, 2005, 06:21 AM   #188
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THAI hopes for bonanza from Moscow
25 November 2005
The Nation

Thai Airways International hopes that its recently introduced services between Bangkok and Moscow will soon play an important role in boosting business for its connecting flights in Asia and Europe.

THAI began flying the new route earlier this month and is forging a business partnership with Russia's Siberian Airlines, to serve travellers from eastern Russia who want to go to Asia, and vice versa.

It is also negotiating with Russia's national carrier, Aeroflot, to pick up the onward travel of Aeroflot passengers within Asia, particularly from Bangkok to neighbouring destinations such as Hong Kong, Singapore and Malaysia.

Such business will boost the number of passengers for THAI's regional routes, according to the national carrier's senior vice president for commercial business, Vasing Kittikun.

He said THAI did not want to be a rival for Aeroflot, which has so far dominated the Bangkok-Moscow route, but rather to boost its overall international business by flying the new route.apos;apos;

THAI now uses only 40 per cent to 45 per cent of it load capacity on the new route, but Vasing said it would pick up income from connecting flights linking Bangkok with Asian neighbours at one end and Moscow with European destinations at the other.

THAI's three flights leave Bangkok at 10.30am, allowing time to pick up passengers from neighbouring countries. Flights from Moscow arrive in Bangkok at 7am, just before flights for neighbouring destinations depart.

THAI is also planning a deal allowing Japanese travellers an overnight stay in Bangkok on their way to Moscow.

Vasing is hopeful that once all arrangements are in place, the load factor on the new route will rise during December and January to 60 per cent and higher in March when Russian travellers are heading south for summer vacations.

The route promises high business potential, given the high purchasing power of the better-off Russians, who are enthusiastically and financially ready to explore the world, he said.

THAI's first- and business-class return fares to Moscow are US$3,800 and $2,800 (Bt156,400 and Bt115,300), respectively. It is currently using MD11 aircraft, but plans to introduce new Airbus A340-600s on the route next summer, providing the opportunity for higher prices to help the service break even within six or eight months.

Vasing defended THAI's decision to launch the service despite plans by both Cathay Pacific and Singapore Airlines to fly to Moscow next year.

"Despite the low load factor, we can't just look at our services route by route," he said. "We have to consider the airline as a network with routes that compliment each other. We're satisfied if the entire network is operating profitably."

THAI has come under huge pressure to improve its performance, with expectations that its 2005 net profit will fall below last year's Bt10 billion.
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Old November 29th, 2005, 04:44 PM   #189
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Thai Airways FY'05 Net Down On Rising Fuel Costs
29 November 2005

BANGKOK (Dow Jones)--Thai Airways International PCL (THAI.TH) Tuesday reported a 32.7% net profit decline for fiscal year 2005, due mainly to rising jet fuel costs.

The company's net profit in the period ended Sept. 30 dropped to THB6.78 billion, or THB4.00 per share, from THB10.08 billion, or THB6.14 per share, in fiscal 2004.

In the fourth quarter - according to Dow Jones Newswires' calculations based on nine-month and full-year data - the national carrier achieved a net profit of THB2.35 billion, a return to profit after a hefty net loss of THB4.78 billion reported in the third quarter.

The fourth-quarter and full-year results were slightly lower than analysts' expectations.

A poll of four brokerages by Dow Jones Newswires, forecast that Thai Airways would register a fourth-quarter net profit of THB2.66 billion and THB7.08 billion for the full year.

The improvement in the fiscal fourth quarter was a result of higher fuel surcharges and the absence of the third quarter's heavy foreign exchange losses on the baht value of the carrier's foreign currency-denominated debt, analysts said.

The carrier imposed the fuel surcharge to offset rising fuel costs, helping to raise total revenue for fiscal 2005 7.2% to THB164.92 billion.

A slowdown in the country's tourism industry following the tsunami disaster last December, ongoing unrest in southern Thailand and concerns over the spread of bird flu has put pressure on the company's full-year earnings, Thai Airways said in a filing to the Stock Exchange of Thailand.

Passengers numbers for the year totaled 18.13 million, a 7.2% decrease from last year as a result of the tsunami, which deterred tourists from traveling especially during January-March, the company said.

The airline's total expenses during the year rose 14.8% to THB151.66 billion on higher fuel costs and a one-time charge relating to an early retirement program and salary base adjustment.

Fuel costs alone jumped 50% to THB46.10 billion during the period, the company said.

The company's operating profit dropped 47.2% on year to THB10.82 billion, but its bottom-line was partially buoyed by foreign exchange gains of THB1.74 billion, compared with THB2.18 billion in foreign exchange losses in the previous fiscal year.

Analysts generally project improved earnings for Thai Airways in fiscal 2006, which started Oct. 1, as global oil prices are expected to stabilize and tourism is seen likely to continue gathering strength.

Finance Minister Thanong Bidaya said earlier that Thai Airways is expected to post a net profit of over THB10 billion in fiscal 2006, on rising revenue resulting from new marketing activities and more high-yield routes with the addition of new aircraft to its fleet.

The airline expects to take delivery of two new Airbus 340 aircraft in November, to add to its existing fleet of 89 aircraft. It also plans to wind down unprofitable routes and increase direct flights. It's Bangkok-Los Angeles route, which currently stops over in Japan will become a direct flight from Dec 1., and its Bangkok-Auckland-Sydney service will be split into two direct routes - Bangkok-Auckland and Bangkok-Sydney - of seven flights per week each, also from Dec. 1.

Thanong added that the cost of jet fuel is expected to be more manageable next year. The net profit forecast is based on the assumption that jet fuel prices will remain at current levels, he said.

In July-September, jet fuel averaged $75.12 a barrel, up from $51.13 a barrel in the same period last year, analysts said.
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Old December 2nd, 2005, 07:29 AM   #190
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Thai Air Oct passenger load dips vs yr-ago, flat vs Sept

BANGKOK, Dec 2 (Reuters) - Thai Airways International PCL said on Friday it filled 72.6 percent of its seats in October, down from the same period last year, but unchanged from September.

The national carrier, which is 54 percent owned by the Finance Ministry, filled 73 percent of its seats in October 2004 and 72.6 percent in September this year.

Thai Airways said demand for travel from the North Pacific, Australia and Europe was lower in October than last year, as the region struggles to recover from last December's devastating tsunami. The airline also faced higher fuel prices.

The airline said it carried 1.58 million passengers in October, the first month of its current 2005/06 financial year, down from 1.63 million in October last year, but up from 1.44 million in September.

Thai Air said it filled 68 percent of passenger and cargo capacity in October, down from 69.8 percent in the same period a year earlier, but up from 67.5 percent in September.

It carried 18.13 million passengers and filled 67.1 percent of passenger and cargo capacity in its previous financial year to end-September.

At 0432 GMT, Thai Air shares were up 0.6 percent at 40 baht, in line with the broader market .

Rival Singapore Airlines , the world's second-biggest airline by market value, said it filled 70.3 percent of the space available on its planes for passengers and cargo in October, up from 68.3 percent a year earlier.

Hong Kong's Cathay Pacific said it carried 1.31 million passengers in October, up 11.9 percent from a year earlier. ($1=41.4 baht)
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Old December 4th, 2005, 08:05 AM   #191
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Thai Airways International reports net profit of 6,777 million Baht
30 November 2005


Thai Airways International's financial results for fiscal year 2005 (October 2004 – September 2005) resulted in total revenues from the sale of goods and the rendering of services of 162,488 million Baht with a net profit of 6,777 million Baht, a decrease of 3,300 million Baht or 32.7% compared to the last fiscal year. This translated into earnings per share of 4 Baht for fiscal year 2005 compared to earnings per share of 6.14 Baht for fiscal year 2004.

The company’s revenues from the sale of goods and the rendering of services increased from last year by 9,885 million Baht or 6.5%. Contributions of profits primarily came from passenger revenue resulting from expansion of the company’s network to more destinations in efforts to reach more areas around the world, and the increased flight frequency to support increased passenger traffic.

Operating expense increased from 132,105 million Baht to 151,664 million Baht, when compared to the same period last year, an increase of 19,559 million Baht or 14.8% resulting from the high increase in fuel prices that rose by 50.1%, and a one time charge against personnel expenses for a mutual separation plan to down-size the organization and reduce personnel expenses, along with an adjustment of the company’s salary structure. The company did, however, also gain 1,470 million Baht in foreign exchange due to a stronger Baht.
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Old December 4th, 2005, 08:09 AM   #192
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Thai Airways International arranges Special Flights for Haj Pilgrimage
30 November 2005


Thai Airways International is arranging special flights between 6 December 2005 and 31 January 2006 to transport Muslims to participate in the Haj Muslim Pilgrimage.

THAI will operate 13 special flights for over 6,000 Muslims who will participate in the Haj Pilgrimage in Makkah, Saudi Arabia on the route Hat Yai – Jeddah with 11 flights and on the route Phuket – Jeddah with 2 flights utilizing Boeing 747-300 aircraft.

In order to facilitate passengers’ comfort and convenience, THAI has also arranged special ground and inflight services to assist passengers traveling with THAI during this period. Services provided will include assistance from ground staff at the final destination, special Halal meals, medical kits, and inflight information guides that will be available to passengers.
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Old December 7th, 2005, 07:51 AM   #193
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Thai Airways International launches flights between Bangkok and Los Angeles
5 December 2005


Thai Airways International has launched non-stop flights between Bangkok and Los Angeles, utilizing its new Airbus A340-500 aircraft on the 14.30-hour route.

THAI will operate three flights per week routed Bangkok – Los Angeles (Tom Bradley International Terminal) v.v. every Tuesday, Friday and Sunday.

THAI’s A340-500 aircraft with the airline's new corporate identity is configured in three classes with 215 seats: 60 in Royal Silk business class, 42 in premium economy and 113 seats in economy class.

The entertainment system in the A340-500 is equipped with audio-video on demand, touch screen and control headset with interactive personal audio and video program. There are 30 movie titles, 100 music albums, single and multi-player games and language learning systems.
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Old December 8th, 2005, 07:08 AM   #194
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Thursday December 8, 9:24 AM
THAI PRESS: Thai Airways' Kanok Plans To Step Dn In April

BANGKOK (Dow Jones)--Thai Airways International PCL (THAI.TH) President Kanok Abhiradee said he will step down in April 2006, The Nation reports.

In July, Kanok was suspended from managerial roles at the national carrier after the company posted disappointing earnings, but he refused to resign.

The airline is seeking a new president, but Kanok said he will not apply, as his term is scheduled to expire at the end of May, according to the paper.

Meanwhile, Somchainuk Engtrakul, currently acting president of Thai Airways, announced he would also not run for the presidency. Applicants must be between 45 and 60 years of age, and Somchainuk is in his early 60s, The Nation said.

Newspaper Web sites: www.nationmultimedia.com
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Old December 13th, 2005, 12:35 AM   #195
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Outlook for Thai Airways brightens on rising traffic
13 December 2005
The Nation (Thailand)

An increase in passenger traffic recorded by Thai Airways International (THAI) in October, which reversed a long-standing decline, suggests continued recovery by the national carrier, according to research by Phatra Securities.

The airline's passenger traffic in October increased by 1.8 per cent year on year, against a year-to-date average of -2.2 per cent.

THAI's international traffic flow is up 2 per cent year on year, continuing the momentum of the past seven months. Domestic flow shows encouraging signs despite having contracted 1.5-per-cent year on year, with passengers still feeling the effect of the oil surcharge, Phatra said.

Despite the improved performance, the securities house warned of some risks that could affect THAI's performance.

"The risks are a sustained high level of oil prices, a drop-off in traffic volume caused by exogenous events and a negative currency environment," it said. "A further change in management could also pose a threat."

Phatra Securities' research concluded that THAI's October traffic data reflected positive signs for the remaining months of the year. With the festive seasons fast approaching and a decrease in oil price, the outlook for THAI in the final quarter remains good.

The passenger-load factor in October was 72.6 per cent, better than the average year-to-date figure of 70 per cent. However, it showed a slight decline from 73 per cent in October 2004, given a 2.3-per-cent increase in capacity due to the addition of two new aircraft to the fleet.

"A distinctive traffic recovery on Australian routes and a sharp rebound in North Pacific services were the boosters," Phatra Securities said. "Europe traffic was soft after two previous strong months, and so was regional traffic volume."

Domestic flow shows encouraging signs, despite having contracted by 1.5 per cent year on year. October's domestic flow rebounded on decreased jet-fuel prices, which peaked in September. A recovery in domestic traffic is expected before the end of the year.

THAI recorded 4-per-cent growth in the volume of cargo, after a 9.4-per-cent increase in capacity. As a result of the latter, the airline's freight-load factor dropped from 61.3 per cent in October 2004 to 58.3 per cent in October 2005.

Phatra Securities said THAI should register a net profit of Bt8.35 billion in 2006 and Bt10.9 billion in 2007, compared with Bt6.78 billion in fiscal 2005. Earnings per share in the next two years should be Bt5 and Bt6.4, respectively, it said, representing annual increases of 23.2 per cent and 30.1 per cent.
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Old December 16th, 2005, 08:46 AM   #196
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Thai Airways International to implement Boeing's Airplane Health Management
15 December 2005


Thai Airways International has signed a contract with Boeing to implement Boeing’s in-flight monitoring system.

Thai Airways becomes the third carrier to sign up for Airplane Health Management (AHM). Singapore Airlines and Japan Airlines signed agreements in November. THAI will use AHM to monitor its fleet of 777 and 747 airplanes – currently 32 airplanes in all.

"What a terrific honor it is to have THAI as an AHM customer,” said Dan da Silva, vice president of Sales and Marketing for Boeing Commercial Aviation Services. “Clearly, there is momentum building in the marketplace for this game-changing technology. Our AHM team has done a great job building this new system and the team will continue to work to make sure THAI and our other customers are absolutely satisfied.”

During a flight, AHM gathers data about systems on the airplane and relays the information in real time to the ground. Based on that data, maintenance crews can be ready to make repairs when the airplane arrives at its airport gate. AHM can therefore help operators reduce the number and length of airplane dispatch delays and convert certain tasks from non-routine to scheduled maintenance. AHM communicates with ground systems via ARINC Communications and Reporting System (ACARS).

In addition, AHM will support long-term fleet reliability programs by helping airlines identify recurring faults and trends, and by serving as an early-warning system for potential future problems.
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Old December 27th, 2005, 03:44 PM   #197
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Thai Airways International increases Flights for New Year
26 December 2005


Thai Airways International is increasing the number of flights on its domestic sector to facilitate the expected increase of passengers during the New Year 2006.

The increases will be in effect between 30 December 2005 and 4 January 2006. The airline has arranged several special flights and changed to larger aircraft types on flights to Chiang Mai, Chiang Rai, Phuket, Krabi, Udon Thani, Ubon Ratchathani, and Khon Kaen, with a total increase of 12,158 passenger seats or an increase of 12% of normally operated 101,308 passenger seats. Increased domestic flights arranged are as follows:

Bangkok – Chiang Mai

Increase of 6 flights on 30, 31 December 2005 and 2, 3 January 2006. Change to larger aircraft for 3 flights on 31 December 2005 and 2, 3 January 2006. Total increase of passenger seats for return flights on this sector at 3,214 passenger seats or a 10.81% increase.

Bangkok – Chiang Rai

Increase of 3 flights on 31 December 2005 and 2, 3 January 2006. Change to larger aircraft for 6 flights on 30, 31 December 2005 and 2, 3 January 2006. Total increase of passenger seats for return flights on this sector at 2,258 passenger seats or a 25.41% increase.

Bangkok – Phuket

Increase of 6 flights on 30, 31 December 2005 and 2, 3, 4 January 2006. Change to larger aircraft for 6 flights on 30, 31 December 2005 and 2, 3 January 2006. Total increase of passenger seats for return flights on this sector at 4,098 passenger seats or a 9.67% increase.

Bangkok – Krabi

Increase of 4 flights on 30, 31 December 2005 and 2, 3 January 2006. Total increase of passenger seats for return flights on this sector at 1,194 passenger seats or a 20% increase.

Bangkok – Udon Thani

Increase of 2 flights on 30 December 2005 and 2 January 2006. Total increase of passenger seats for return flights on this sector at 444 passenger seats or a 9.95% increase.

Bangkok –Ubon Ratchathani

Increase of 3 flights on 30 December 2005 and 2, 3 January 2006. Total increase of passenger seats for return flights on this sector at 730 passenger seats or a 12.58% increase.

Bangkok – Khon Kaen

Increase of 1 flight on 31 December 2005. Total increase of passenger seats for return flights on this sector at 222 passenger seats or a 5.41% increase.
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Old January 20th, 2006, 04:32 AM   #198
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Thai Airways' route scrapping opposed
Rumours fly of airline junkets

19 January 2006
Bangkok Post

Political figures, travelling at the taxpayers' expense, are putting Thai Airways International (THAI) under intense pressure to retain several loss-ridden secondary domestic routes.

Senior THAI executives have faced resistance over plans to stop flights to Nakhon Si Thammarat, Mae Hong Son and Trang, where passenger numbers are down to as little as 20% to 30% of capacities.

Typically, a commercial flight needs to fill a figure of between 60% and 70% of seats at least, to break even.

Governors of these provinces, politicians and local trade bodies, have insisted that the national carrier continues to serve the public in their areas because they claim THAI's aircraft and services are more reliable and superior than other carriers.

This has been disputed by industry observers, who allege the politicians are motivated by self-interest because of the privileges they receive on these flights.

Amenities, like a dedicated check-in counter, automatic upgrades to business class, special seat reservations, seat locations and extra baggage allowances would cease alongside THAI's termination of flights to these destinations.

Politicians, including MPs and senators, and senior government officials who fly these routes frequently are most vocal about the retention of these flights for ordinary passengers, observers said.

Recent missions by senior THAI executives led by acting president Somchainuk Engtrakul to Mae Hong Son and Nakhon Si Thammarat to explain why these flights are no longer economical, were not well received, they said.

Politicians and senior government officials were told low-cost carrier Nok Air and other private airlines would service the routes instead.

The THAI executive team led by Mr Somchainuk is expected to receive a similar response by observers, when it meets with the Trang local government today and trade organisations in the southern province.

Under government control, THAI is faced with a dilemma between good business conduct and keeping the powers-that-be happy.

To cut losses, THAI has gradually been reducing flights and establishing a code-share agreement with Nok Air.

This week, THAI began halving its services on the Bangkok to Nakhon Si Thammarat route, reducing its frequency to once-a-day from twice daily.

Under the code-share agreement with Nok Air, THAI passengers are transferred from the flight it has cut back to the lower-cost airline.

Nok Air started serving the Bangkok-Nakhon Si Thammarat flights a few months ago as part of the route handover.

Through code sharing with Nok Air, THAI is able to claim it has not cut back flights, claim observers.
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Old January 23rd, 2006, 04:16 PM   #199
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Thai Air Jet Returns To Sweden Due To Unruly Passenger
22 January 2006

STOCKHOLM (AP)--An unruly passenger caused a Thai Airways (THAI.TH) plane to return to Stockholm Saturday, Swedish police said Sunday.

Flight TG961 with 397 people onboard left Stockholm's Arlanda airport in the afternoon and was on its way to Bangkok when a drunk passenger became unruly. Cabin crew and passengers overpowered the 44-year-old man but the pilot decided to return to Stockholm, police spokeswoman Yvonne Lindholm said.

The man was arrested by Arlanda police but was released after questioning, she said.

The Thai Boeing 747 left Arlanda again five hours later.

No one was injured during the incident.
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Old January 24th, 2006, 12:18 PM   #200
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Thai Airways new manager stresses Taiwan commitment
2006/1/24
By William C. Pao The China Post


Thai Airways will continue to commit itself to the Taiwanese market, one of its most important in the Asia Pacific, said Charoenchai Laksanakorn, the company's Taiwan general manager, yesterday.

The airline currently operates 21 weekly flights from Taipei to Bangkok and three from Taipei to Phuket Island via Hong Kong, and the company is thinking about adding more services to accommodate passengers, Laksanakorn said.

"Most Taiwan travelers to Thailand are leisure travelers, and business travelers come in second," said the general manager, who just assumed his post in the beginning of the year. "Leisure travelers are usually part of a package tour, although some of them are individual travelers."

"The Taiwanese are quality passengers," he emphasized.

The number of Taiwan travelers to Thailand declined significantly last year after the tsunami attacks at the end of 2004. That, coupled with the threats of the avian flu and the aftermath of the severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS), has caused a reduction in inbound passengers from Taiwan, who numbered roughly 250,000 last year.

But Laksanakorn assured the number would go up this year.

"We have gradually come out of the shadows of the tsunamis," he said.

The general manager wants to stress that the company offers more products than direct flights to Thailand. It also has direct flights from Taipei to Hong Kong and Seoul, and, being a member of the Star Alliance, the company offers connection flights to major destinations in the world from Bangkok.

"One of my major goals for the Taiwan office is to increase sales, and promoting our services to destinations outside Thailand is an important part of achieving that goal," Laksanakorn said.

The company has recently launched a major overhaul initiative to enhance the image of the company. The project began with a redesign of the airline's corporate identity symbol. While the company has kept the trademark logo -- a flower-like symbol that could represent an orchid, a temple, or other things that people associate Thailand with -- the "Thai" text is now in a different font and in a deeper shade of purple.

Other aspects of the project include the purchasing of five new aircraft, construction of a new Thai Airways lounge in the new Bangkok airport, and refurbishing of first and business classes of Boeing 747 and 777 aircraft.

The new features add to things that Thai Airlines is already famous for, such as food and service.

"We offer a 'Thai touch' to passengers, meaning adding a touch of Thai culture to our service," Laksanakorn said. "All our employees come with a strong willingness to serve."
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