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Old January 28th, 2006, 05:38 AM   #201
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Biman Bangladesh delays date for THAI takeover
28 January 2006
Bangkok Post

Thai Airways International's management takeover of Shah Amanat International Airport, in Chittagong, Bangladesh, has been delayed following a request from Biman Bangladesh Airlines amid fears of financial losses.

The Civil Aviation and Tourism Ministry of Bangladesh has informed THAI that the date set for running the airport, Feb 1, would be deferred by at least one month, THAI executives confirmed yesterday.

Bangladesh's internal politics and resistance from Biman officials have caused the delay as they felt that the management of the airport should not be handed over to a foreign organisation.

Mirza Fakhrul Islam Alamgir, the state minister for Civil Aviation and Tourism, said the ministry was reviewing the terms of the 10-year contract with the Thai national carrier at Biman's request.

Biman officials were concerned that they would suffer financial losses if the management of the airport went to THAI.

Some suggested that the problem may put a strain on the relationship between Thailand and Bangladesh, but THAI executives were not surprised by the development, given the political state of the country.

"I think this is one of the internal political problems that many of us expected. We are prepared to give them time to find solutions," THAI vice-president Doosdee Smuthkochorn told the Bangkok Post.

THAI was prepared to make its plans for running the airport clear to Biman officials if so requested, he said.

"It is our plan to outsource certain jobs such as airport cleaning to Biman and local service providers. We are not sending our people to do everything there," said Mr Doosdee.

For the time being, THAI does not view the delay as a breach of contract, but a short-term hiccup that has caused some frustration, he said. "We are not talking about seeking compensation yet."

"Looking at all the circumstances, I have every reason to believe that the Bangladesh authorities have really wanted THAI to help them in running the airport."

Mr Doosdee was optimistic that Bangladesh authorities would be able to clear up the problem within one month.

Running the Shah Amanat airport, under the deal signed on Dec 1 last year, would earn THAI US$9.06 million in fees.

Its scope of work includes handling passenger services, ground equipment, cargo and catering. It will operate, maintain and manage the terminal building, ramp and cargo handling, security, building and preventive maintenance.

In addition, THAI will be responsible for collecting landing and security fees, embarkation and ground-handling fees.

THAI intends to use the airport as a model for future airport-management ventures. It hopes to run small and medium-sized airports in Nepal, Bhutan, Burma, India, the Philippines and Indonesia.

The Bangladesh government chose THAI over the UAE-based Sharjah Civil Aviation Authority in order to avoid losses.
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Old January 31st, 2006, 05:43 AM   #202
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THAI PRESS:Thai Air To Change Fuel Surcharge Structure
30 January 2006

BANGKOK (Dow Jones)--Thai Airways International PCL (THAI.TH) will change its fuel surcharge structure for international flights to make the ticket prices more competitive with those of other airlines, reports the Bangkok Post quoting Vasing Kittikul, the company's executive vice-president of commercial affairs.

According to the paper, the national carrier charges flat rates on fuel costs - $25 for short-haul flights and $50 for international flights. The rates will be replaced with a new variable structure depending on the route and the country of destination.

The new surcharge structure will be put in place on Apr. 1, the paper said.

Newspaper Web site : www.bangkokpost.com
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Old January 31st, 2006, 01:48 PM   #203
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Thai Airways Names 4 Qualified Candidates For Pres Post

BANGKOK (Dow Jones)--Thai Airways International PCL (THAI.TH) named four preliminary qualified applicants for the post of president, all of whom are executives in the company, in a statement late Monday.

The shortlisted candidates are Chinawut Naressaenee, executive vice president, Customer Services Department; Apinan Sumanaseni, executive vice president, Operations Department; Norahuch Ployyai, executive vice president, Standards and General Administration Department; Supachai Limpisvasti, managing director, Technical Department.


The four applicants will be invited for interviews from Feb. 6 through Feb. 10, the statement said.

The successful candidate will be announced by the end of April, when the term of President Kanok Abhiradee ends.

Kanok was suspended from his managerial duties in August last year just before the airline reported a massive loss for its fiscal third quarter to June 30.

Following the suspension, the airline appointed board member Somchainuk Engtrakul to oversee Kanok's major responsibilities.
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Old February 1st, 2006, 06:18 AM   #204
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Thai Airways passenger load drops in December

BANGKOK, Feb 1 (Reuters) - Thai Airways International PCL said on Wednesday it filled 70.7 percent of its seats in December 2005, down from the same period a year earlier and the previous month.

The national carrier, 54 percent owned by the Finance Ministry, filled 73.2 percent of its seats in December 2004 and 73.0 percent in November 2005, it said on its Web site at www.thaiair.com .

It said demand for travel was lower in December than a year earlier, particularly from Australia, as the region struggled to recover from the Indian Ocean tsunami in December 2004.

The airline said it carried 1.61 million passengers in December 2005, down from 1.72 million a year earlier and up from 1.56 million in the previous month.

Thai Airways said it filled 65.8 percent of passenger and cargo capacity in December, down from 68.7 percent in the same period a year earlier and 67.9 percent in the previous month.

It carried 4.74 million passengers and filled 67.2 percent of passenger and cargo capacity in the first three months of its current 2005/06 fiscal year ending in September.

That compared with 5.01 million passengers and a 69.7 percent passenger load in the same period a year earlier, it said.

At 0330 GMT, Thai Air shares were up 0.6 percent at 40.50 baht, while the broader market <.SETI> was 0.3 percent lower.

Rival Singapore Airlines , the world's second-most valuable airline, said it filled 70.9 percent of the space available on its planes for passengers and cargo in December, up from 68.3 percent a year earlier.

Hong Kong's Cathay Pacific said it carried 1.41 million passengers in December, up 10.9 percent from a year earlier.
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Old February 1st, 2006, 03:09 PM   #205
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AVIATION / THAI AIRWAYS PRESIDENCY
Classmate of PM said to be front-runner


BOONSONG KOSITCHOTETHANA
Norahuch Ployyai, an executive vice-president at Thai Airways International (THAI), is tipped as the front-runner among the four candidates shortlisted to seek the president's post at the national carrier. All four candidates chosen from a pool of 12 screened by the selection committee are senior THAI executives. The committee headed by THAI chairman Wanchai Sarathulthat will interview the final contenders starting next Monday.


Norahuch: 27-year airline veteran

Mr Norahuch, a flight officer who oversees quality and safety standards as well as crisis management for the airline, is seen as having an edge partly due to his personal relationship with Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra.

A 27-year veteran of the airline, Mr Norahuch, 55, was a classmate of Mr Thaksin at the Armed Forces Academies Preparatory School.

All four candidates, who are ex-Air Force officers and have worked for the airline for at least 20 years, were well-qualified, according to airline insiders.

The other three candidates are Chinawut Naressaenee, executive vice-president for customer services; Apinan Sumanaseni, executive vice-president for operations; and Supachai Limpisvasti, managing director for the technical department.

However, some airline executives remain disappointed that THAI could not attract a wider pool of outsiders to seek the job, even after extending the application deadline by another three weeks beyond Dec 30.

Among those who had been courted were MCOT Plc president Mingkwan Sangsuwan, PTT chief financial officer Pichai Chunhavajira, and Stock Exchange of Thailand president Kittiratt Na Ranong.

THAI is viewed as a difficult organisation to manage, partly due to the influential and well-entrenched factions within the 26,000-employee enterprise and the complexity of its operations.

The eight outside applicants included Teerasak Suwannayos, the acting president of the Islamic Bank of Thailand; sugar industry executive Jatupon Ruangwiset; and a westerner who used to work for Lufthansa.

The final decision on who will succeed outgoing president Kanok Abhiradee will rest with Mr Thaksin, on the recommendation of Transport Minister Pongsak Raktapongpaisal, officials say.

Mr Kanok, a marketing expert before he joined THAI, was stripped of management powers last August after the airline made its biggest quarterly loss in five years. His term is due to expire in May.
Wednesday February 01, 2006
http://www.bangkokpost.com
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Old February 2nd, 2006, 06:58 AM   #206
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Thai Airways to suspend flights from Australia to holiday isle of Phuket

BANGKOK, Jan 31, 2006 (AFP) - Thai Airways International said Tuesday it would suspend direct flights from Australia to Thailand's holiday isle of Phuket due to sluggish demand in tourism after the December 2004 tsunami.

Thailand's national carrier said the move would be effective from Wednesday.

"Since the tsunami, demand has been very low. The number of passengers is not so high," said a company spokeswoman who declined to be named. The company used to run three flights per week from Sydney and Melbourne to Phuket.

Tourism accounts for six percent of Thailand's gross domestic product, and memories of the devastating tsunami which killed nearly 5,400 people in the country still linger.
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Old February 9th, 2006, 05:24 PM   #207
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THAI to start local airline
9 February 2006
The Nation (Thailand)

Thai Airways International Plc plans to set up a domestic airline called Euarng Luang this year to cater to high-end passengers, while it will focus on international routes. The new carrier will be THAI's second, following Nok Air, which operates low-cost flights on mainly domestic routes.

It will be entirely owned by THAI, unlike Nok Air, which has other shareholders.

THAI chairman Wanchai Sarathulthat said yesterday that Euarng Luang would serve domestic passengers who prefer premium services. It is expected to start operating from Don Muang airport after Suvarnabhumi Airport opens, possibly in the second half of this year.

Euarng Luang would turn THAI back to the era when the Finance Ministry owned two airlines - Thai Airways and Thai International - for local and international markets, respectively. The airlines were merged some 15 years ago.

Like other airlines, THAI needs to refine its strategies more often. This will be the main task of the new THAI president.

Yesterday, the four candidates were interviewed on five questions covering management strategies, marketing strategies, organisation administration, revenue-generating measures and cost-reduction plans. They were given a week to hand in their proposals, after which they will be called in for another interview. The result will be known next month.

A source close to the recruiting committee said if none of them is qualified, Somchainuk Engtrakul would stay on as acting president until the company can find a permanent replacement.

The candidates are all THAI insiders - Chinawut Naressaenee, executive vice president for customer services; Apinan Sumanaseni, EVP for operations; Norahuch Ployyai, EVP for standards and general administration; and Supachai Limpisvasti, managing director of the technical department.
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Old February 23rd, 2006, 04:54 PM   #208
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Thai Airways to open direct flights to South Africa

BANGKOK, Feb 22, 2006 (AFP) - Flag carrier Thai Airways International said Wednesday it would launch direct flights from Bangkok to Johannesburg, South Africa, in October due to rising demand.

"Johannesburg is the hub of air travelling in Africa. It is a good connection and we can get passengers from North and East Africa," said Wallop Bhukkanasut, vice president of the airline's sales and distribution department.

The airline will operate three direct flights per week from the Thai capital to Johannesburg, Wallop said, adding the company would increase the number of direct flights from Bangkok to New York and Los Angeles in September as well.

Thai Airways currently operates four flights per week from Bangkok to New York and three flights per week to Los Angeles.

Tourism accounts for six percent of Thailand's gross domestic product and the government forecast some 13.6 million foreign tourists would visit the kingdom in 2006.
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Old March 14th, 2006, 04:02 PM   #209
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THAI staffs in their new uniforms starting 1 May 2006

Sources: thaiaviation.net / Thai Airways













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Old March 14th, 2006, 04:07 PM   #210
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Of course, this one will stay...

Source: Thai Airways




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Old March 14th, 2006, 04:18 PM   #211
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Thai Airways Calendar 2000

Source: Thai Airways

Front Cover


January


February


March


April


May


June


July


August


Sep


October


Nov


December


Back Cover
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Old April 8th, 2006, 05:45 AM   #212
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Thai Airways still undecided on creating new carrier

ZURICH, April 7, 2006 (AFP) - Thailand's flag carrier Thai Airways International has yet to decide whether to launch a new domestic airline in its home market, a senior executive said on Friday.

"It's still in the planning stage. It's not yet finalised," Thai Airway's vice-president Vasing Kittikul told AFP.

Two months ago, Thai Airways had confirmed that it was conducting a feasibility study to create a new airline offering a more luxurious service than Thailand's existing low-cost carrier, Nok Air, in which Thai Airways holds a 39 percent stake.

News reports in February in Thailand had said that the new airline, to be called Thai Orchid, would start operations this year and would be wholly owned by Thai Airways.

"So far there has not yet been a discussion in detail among the board of directors," said Vasing on Friday on the sidelines of a meeting in Switzerland of the Star Alliance, the 16-airline group of which Thai Airways is a member.

Vasing said that the very existence of Nok Air was "one of the reasons" for the hesitation.

He added: "We feel that the domestic lines, the primary routes like to Phuket, to Chiang Mai and other southern parts, we will fly on our own because it's good connectivity" for passengers arriving on international flights.

"But for the other secondary routes, we are thinking of letting Nok Air succeed us and fly on behalf of us."

"To reduce the cost of operating domestically we have to think carefully, and we feel that the domestic point-to-point is better served by Nok Air, whereas, when connecting, it's better to be served by Thai," he said.

Vasing said that Thai Airways was likely to make a final decision after the opening of Bangkok's new Suvarnabhumi Airport, which is due later this year.

News reports in Thailand have said that any new carrier was likely to operate from the existing Don Muang airport, which will be superseded by Suvarnabhumi.

Vasing also said that Thai Airways could consider using Nok Air "as a fighting brand to fly to low-cost destination overseas."
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Old April 13th, 2006, 07:06 AM   #213
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Phuket's future 'hinges on renewed direct flights'
13 April 2006
The Nation

The Laguna Phuket Sheraton has asked Thai Airways International to restore direct flights to the island to pre-tsunami levels, as the hotel says it lost 15 per cent of its visitors last year as a result of reduced air traffic.

Kylie Brajak, marketing director for the hotel, said the drop in visitors was caused mainly by the elimination of flights from Hong Kong, South Korea and Australia, which are three major regional sources of visitors to the island.

She said this was hurting the hotel most acutely this month, when the majority of visitors are usually from Asia and Australia.

Brajak said tourists from South Korea and Hong Kong considered Phuket a favourite weekend destination, while Australians enjoyed the island's low cost of living.

She said the reduction in direct flights had forced visitors to spend more time travelling, with trips taking four hours longer from Hong Kong and six hours longer from Australia after changing planes in Bangkok.

Jan Kirstein, general manager of the 3,000-rai, five-hotel Laguna Phuket complex, which includes the Sheraton, said the issue had been discussed THAI several times, without a resolution.

He said Phuket's future as a regional tourist magnet depended on the airline.

Currently, the Sheraton is relying mainly on European visitors, who were the major holiday-makers during the first quarter of this year. The major corporate customers are Russian, German, Australian, Singaporean and Thai, and the hotel expects to hold 70 business events this year.

Laguna Phuket consists of five hotels - Sheraton Grande Laguna Phuket, Banyan Tree Phuket, Dusit Laguna Phuket, Laguna Beach Resort and Allamanda Laguna Phuket.

Kirstein said the hotel complex would achieve 80-per-cent occupancy during the next two weeks, adding that the Sheraton would open 420 more rooms this year.
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Old April 17th, 2006, 06:06 PM   #214
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Thai Airways to pick new boss amid oil, competition pressure

BANGKOK, April 17, 2006 (AFP) - Flag carrier Thai Airways International is set to pick a new president on Tuesday amid pressure from soaring global oil prices and cut-throat competition from low-budget airlines.

Thai Airways has been hunting for the new chief since August last year when it suspended Kanok Abhiradee after incurring its worst-ever quarterly loss totalling 4.78 billion baht (117 million dollars) in the three months to June in 2005.

The company said it would pick the new president from four internal candidates at Tuesday's board meeting.

"Tuesday's meeting is the last meeting for selecting the new president," said Thai Airways spokeswoman Sompradtana Prakobsantisuk, but warned the board may not announce its decision immediately.

Analysts said the new boss must quickly tackle pressing problems of high oil prices and intense competition from low-cost rivals in the regional market.

"Oil is the biggest challenge for the company. About 30 to 40 percent of the company's operational costs is oil," said Sukbir Khanijoh, an economist at Trinity Securities.

On Monday, oil prices hit 70 dollars a barrel in Asian trade amid concerns over tight US gasoline stocks and continued fears the United States could launch military strikes against Iran, the world's fourth-biggest oil producer.

Soaring fuel prices slashed Thai Airways' net profit by 33.36 percent to 3.81 billion baht (96.79 million dollars) in the three months to December.

Apart from oil, Choosak Ratanachaichan, an economist at Kasikorn Research Center, said Thai Airways was facing tough competition from low-budget airlines in the Southeast Asian market.

"Like any other airline, severe competition from low-cost carriers has affected Thai Airways. They are eating up the market share of traditional airlines," Choosak said.

In Thailand, Thai Airways faces competition from Thai AirAsia, a Thai unit of Malaysia's budget airline AirAsia, and from Singapore budget carrier Tiger Airways in the regional market.

"Competition is another biggest challenge for Thai Airways. We are seeing very, very tough competition. The number of routes, particularly within the region, has been taken over by low-cost airlines," Trinity's Sukbir said.

Sukbir added the Thai national carrier was also saddled with internal management problems.

"One of the biggest problems of Thai Airways is that there is a lot of political interference," he said, pointing out that the finance ministry is the airline's biggest shareholder with a 54.21-percent stake.

"As the biggest shareholder, they are always trying to have a say over policy. Whether purchasing new fleet or making new investment, there's been always political interference, causing a delay in the decision-making."

While searching for the new president, Thai Airways has asked Somchainuk Engtrakul, a former permanent secretary of the finance ministry, to take charge as acting president.

Because of government's meddling, Thai Airways has lagged behind regional rivals such as Singapore Airlines and Hong Kong's Cathay Pacific Airways in the area of acquiring new aircraft, Sukbir said.

But the analyst said the government was unlikely to reduce its ownership of Thai Airways due to the current political climate in Bangkok.

"People are strongly against the government's selling of state enterprises," Sukbir said, referring to anti-privatization groups which had joined street protests that had pushed Thaksin Shinawatra out of office in early April.

They are opposed to the outgoing premier's privatization drive and lobbied against the government's plan to partially privatize the Electricity Generating Authority of Thailand (EGAT), Thailand's largest state enterprise.

A Thai court in March ruled against the privatization of EGAT, saying the energy giant's planned initial public offering would be politically influenced.

"The climate for privatizing Thai Airways is not favorable right now," Sukbir said.
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Old April 19th, 2006, 07:20 AM   #215
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Thai Airways names former pilot as new boss

BANGKOK, April 18, 2006 (AFP) - Flag carrier Thai Airways International on Tuesday named a former pilot to take the helm of the company, amid pressure from soaring global oil prices and cut-throat competition from low-budget airlines.

Apinan Sumanaseni, 56, will become the new president from May 1 under a four-year contract, and the airline whose biggest shareholder is the finance ministry insisted the decision was made independently.

The appointment of Apinan came as global oil prices soared to new highs amid concerns over possible military conflict between the United States and Iran.

"We have to face this challenge to deal with rising oil prices. Every airline is facing the same situation," Apinan told a news conference.

Crude oil prices in New York and London were rising to nearly 71 dollars per barrel on Tuesday.

Asked about intense competition from low-budget carriers, Apinan said the company would create a new airline solely aimed at the domestic market to compete against low-cost rivals.

"It's urgent for Thai Airways to set up a domestic airline to keep us competitive in the domestic market. The new airline will try to serve a market between low-budget carriers and premium airlines," he said, but gave no details.

Apinan admitted there had been government meddling in the company's decision-making. The finance ministry alone holds a 54.21-percent stake in Thai Airways.

But he vowed to restructure the management to speed up decision-making.

"The organization is too big and our decision-making is slow. I will restructure our management so that we can reach decisions quickly," Apinan said.

Somsak Srinual, president of Thai Airways' 13,000-strong union, welcomed Apinan's appointment.

"Everybody in Thai Airways was waiting for today. When we have a new leader who has worked for the company for over 30 years, I don't think he will betray our company," Somsak told AFP. Apinan joined Thai Airways in 1975.

Saknarin Sasanonda, an airline analyst at Siam City Securities, said Apinan's foremost task is to cope with skyrocketing jet fuel prices.

"Oil is the bigggest and the most important problem for Thai Airways. To cope with this problem, the new president may have to increase the fuel surcharge," Saknarin said.

Soaring fuel prices slashed Thai Airways' net profit by 33.36 percent to 3.81 billion baht (96.79 million dollars) in the three months to December.

Apinan said the company would make some profit in the three months to March but declined to give figures.

Thai Airways has been hunting for the new chief since last August when it suspended Kanok Abhiradee after incurring its worst-ever quarterly loss totalling 4.78 billion baht (117 million dollars) in the three months to June 2005.

Apart from oil, Thai Airways faces severe competition from Thai AirAsia, a Thai unit of Malaysia's budget airline AirAsia, in the domestic market, and from Singapore budget carrier Tiger Airways in the regional market.

"Competition is another big challenge for Thai Airways. We are seeing very, very tough competition," said Sukbhir Khanijoh, an economist at Trinity Securities.

Shares in Thai Airways fell 1.25 points or 2.53 percent to close at 48.25 baht Tuesday before the announcement.
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Old April 26th, 2006, 05:20 PM   #216
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Thai Airways to boost flights to Europe, US

BANGKOK, April 26, 2006 (AFP) - Flag carrier Thai Airways plans to boost the number of its flights to Europe and the United States, but warned Wednesday it may also increase its fuel surcharge to offset the soaring price of jet fuel.

The company also said it would expand its services in China, India and Japan as part of its strategy to battle stiff competition from low-cost carriers.

Fuel costs account for up to 40 percent of the carrier's overall expenses, the company's vice president Vasing Kittikul told reporters.

"We are considering increasing the fuel surcharge on both international and domestic flights. The adjustment might begin in mid-May or early June," Vasing said.

The company will determine the amount of the increase this week, he added.

Speaking at the company's headquarters, Vasing said Thai Airways would strengthen its international routes through competitive pricing and closer partnership with business alliances including co-chairing and aircraft swap.

"Cost cutting is a part of Thai's proactive strategy to deal with intensified competition, especially the arrival of low-cost airlines," he told reporters.

The airline plans to increase its direct, non-stop flights from Bangkok to Los Angeles from four to six in June 2007.

The company will buy new aircraft to increase the number of its flights to New York, which is normally 80 percent booked, within five years, he added.

"London, Frankfurt and Paris are the main European destinations where we will increase the frequency of flights, while making turnaround flights to secondary markets such as Rome and Madrid," said Vasing.

In Asia, the airline plans to increase its flights to Madras, Bangalore, Beijing, Shanghai, Chengdu, Nagoya and Fukuoka, he added.

A new direct flight to Johannesburg will also begin later this year.

The airline's incoming president Somchainuk Engtrakul said that despite high oil prices, Thai expects much better operating results in its second quarter, which ended in March. It has yet to release figures for the quarter.

Soaring fuel prices slashed Thai Airways' net profit by 33.36 percent to 3.81 billion baht (96.79 million dollars) in the three months to December.

Apart from oil, Thai Airways faces severe competition from Thai AirAsia, a Thai unit of Malaysia's budget airline AirAsia, in the domestic market, and from Singapore budget carrier Tiger Airways in the regional market.
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Old April 27th, 2006, 04:36 PM   #217
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Thai, Bangkok airways move toward code-share on China routes

BANGKOK, April 27, 2006 (AFP) - National carrier Thai Airways and Thailand's biggest private airline Bangkok Airways said Thursday they will form a new code-share agreement on routes to six Chinese cities.

The deal would also extend to the Thai resort island of Samui, where Bangkok Airways built and owns the only airport and maintains a monopoly on flights there, the companies said in a statement.

The companies said they expect to finalize the details of the code-share agreement within two months, covering routes to the Chinese cities of Xixuangbanna, Xian, Guilin, Zhengzhou, Hangzhou and Shenzhen.

The two carriers also agreed to develop joint marketing efforts.

Thai Airways named a new president last week as part of its drive battle growing fuel costs and stiff competition from low-cost carriers.

The company Wednesday announced plans to boost its number of flights to Europe and the United States, as well as expanding services to China, India and Japan.
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Old May 2nd, 2006, 06:11 PM   #218
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Thai Airways announces new airline to battle budget rivals

BANGKOK, May 2, 2006 (AFP) - Flag carrier Thai Airways announced plans Tuesday for a new airline on domestic and regional flights as part of its strategy to combat cut-throat competition from budget rivals.

The airline, called Euarng Luang, will target the mid-range market and start flying later this year within Thailand and to Laos, Cambodia and Myanmar, said Thai Airways new president Apinan Sumanaseni.

"It will take about two months to set up a new company that will operate flights for domestic (routes) and neighboring countries," he said.

Euarng Luang, which means Royal Orchid, will be positioned differently from Nok Air, Thai Airways' low-cost subsidiary, and be aimed at drawing customers from premium and budget rivals, he said.

"Euarng Luang is targeted to serve the markets between premium and low-cost airlines," Apinan, whose appointment took effect Monday, told reporters.

Euarng Luang will fly from Bangkok's existing Don Muang airport before moving to the new Suvarnabhumi Airport which is expected to open after much delay by the end of the year.

Apinan, a former pilot, was named as the new president last month to head the carrier's battle against growing fuel costs and stiff competition from budget and low-cost carriers.

The company also said Tuesday it would raise its fuel surcharges by 25 percent on domestic flights in the next two weeks and the beginning of June on international flights, to reflect the higher fuel costs.

Apinan said that despite high fuel prices, the carrier expected better results this year than in 2005 on the back of increased bookings. Some 74 percent of seats were filled in April, up from 71 percent for the same time last year, he said.

"We are targeting total revenue of 180 billion baht (4.79 billion dollars) this year, up from 160 billion baht as originally forecast, with higher profits," he said without giving further details.

The company has already revealed plans to boost its number of flights to Europe and the United States, as well as expanding services to China, India and Japan. A code-share agreement with private airline Bangkok Airways was announced last week on routes to six Chinese cities.
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Old May 2nd, 2006, 10:20 PM   #219
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I wonder what pricepoints the new airline will have, and if the services will be differentiated enough from Nok Air and Thai.
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Old May 12th, 2006, 04:38 AM   #220
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THAI profit jumps 78% on forex gain

More flyers help offset high fuel costs


Thai Airways International Plc (THAI) has reported a 78% year-on-year rise in its second-quarter net profit as higher passenger traffic and a foreign-exchange gain outweighed surging fuel costs.

The national carrier said its net profit rose to 6.21 billion baht, or 3.65 baht per share, in the quarter to March 31 from 3.49 billion baht a year earlier.


The result was at the low end of a profit range of 6-7 billion baht forecast by four analysts polled by Reuters.


The solid second quarter lifted half-year earnings to 10 billion baht, up ninefold from a year earlier, and met the airline's full-financial year target to September.


Analysts said that although the quarterly profit looked strong, it did not come from core operations, while oil prices remained a burden.


''The profit is below our expectations and it is mainly due to a forex gain which is difficult to predict. We expect a weaker second half because of the low season and high oil prices,'' Asia Plus Securities said in a research note.


The broker had forecast a net profit of 6.7 billion baht and recommended a short-term sell on the stock.


THAI shares closed yesterday on the SET at 47.25 baht, up 25 satang, in trade worth 99.18 million baht.


The stock has risen 7.4% so far this year, underperforming the 9.7% rise in the SET index.


Thai Airways said it had a foreign-exchange gain of 3.86 billion baht in the March quarter against a 713-million-baht gain a year earlier.


Most of its $3.3-billion long-term debt is in dollars and yen, which dipped more than 5% against the baht in the quarter.


The airline said its passenger load factor rose to 76.7% in its March quarter from 70.6% a year earlier when tourism struggled to recover from the 2004 tsunami.


Revenue rose 19% in the quarter from a year earlier, but costs rose nearly 20%, due mainly to a 60% rise in fuel costs.


While many Asian airlines have seen passenger numbers recovering, its earnings outlook remains hostage to high fuel costs.


Earlier this week, Japan Airlines, Asia's number four carrier by market value, posted a full-year operating loss as oil prices hit. Singapore Airlines, the world's number two carrier by market value, faced its fifth straight quarter of lower profits.


Thai Airways said jet fuel accounted for more than 30% of costs but it had levied a fuel surcharge on ticket prices to claw back some of the increases. It has hedged about 20% of fuel use.


The 46-year-old airline is still optimistic, with chairman Somchainuk Engtrakul forecasting average seat occupancy of 75% in the current year, up from 71%.


The 60th anniversary of His Majesty the King's accession to the throne would attract more visitors, he said.REUTERS

Source : Bangkokpost : May 12, 2006
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