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Old February 14th, 2010, 09:35 PM   #581
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Winners and losers in THAI's new schedule

By The Nation Published on February 15, 2010

Thai Airways International on Friday announced its summer schedule, which shows an increase in flight frequency on some routes and the suspension of other services.

While the Bangkok-Johannesburg service is resumed at four flights per week as of May 16 and daily service between Bangkok-Los Angeles will be maintained, frequency on the Oslo route will be reduced from daily service to five flights per week. Service between Bangkok and Moscow will be reduced to three weekly flights.

The schedule - effective from March 28 to October 30 - has also introduced changes on regional routes. Flights between Bangkok and Penang will increase from five per week to a daily service. THAI will reroute flights to operate between Hong Kong and Phuket instead of Hong Kong-Phuket-Bangkok. It will suspend flights on the Bangkok-Hong Kong-Taipei route in order to resume daily Bangkok-Hong Kong operations.

Bangkok-Manila-Osaka flights will be suspended and rerouted to operate the Bangkok-Manila service. Bangkok-Busan frequency will be reduced to three flights per week. Bangkok-Kathmandu, Bangkok-Gaya-Varanasi and Bangkok-Kuwait services will be suspended.

As for domestic services, THAI will transfer its flights to Phitsanulok, Ubon Ratchathani and Mae Hong Son to Nok Air, its budget carrier, from March 1.

While keeping frequencies, Nok Air will operate two flights per day on the Don Mueang-Phitsanulok route and two for Chiang Mai-Mae Hong Son.

THAI will continue to operate one flight per day on the Bangkok-Ubon Ratchathani route from Suvarnabhumi. Nok Air will operate two flights per day on the Don Mueang-Ubon Ratchathani route.
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Old February 16th, 2010, 12:21 PM   #582
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AoT profits return in last quarter

Bangkokpost Published: 16/02/2010 at 12:00 AM

Airports of Thailand Plc pulled off a financial turnaround last quarter by reporting a net profit of 798 million baht.

The earnings of 56 satang a share in the period to Dec 31 marked a reversal from the same period a year earlier when AoT recorded losses of 1.68 billion baht or 1.18 baht a share.

The return to profitability in the first quarter of the fiscal year was largely driven by foreign-exchange gains, the economic recovery and a surge in arrivals compared to the same period the previous year which was marred by mass protests and political turmoil.

AoT, which operates the country's six major airports including Suvarnabhumi, recorded a foreign-exchange gain of 440.8 million baht, versus a loss of 2.34 billion the year before, thanks to the baht's appreciation.

Revenue increased by 15.22% year-on-year to 6.22 billion baht, with income from aeronautical operations growing by 18.16% to 3.46 billion baht while non-aeronautical revenue rose by 11.74% to 2.76 billion.

Total expenses also rose, increasing by 11.93% to 4.82 billion baht, according to an AoT statement issued yesterday.

The majority state-owned enterprise's improved revenue resulted from increasing flight frequencies and rising passenger and cargo traffic through its airports which registered year-on-year growth of 19.61%, 33.72% and 26.71%, respectively.

AoT lost 10 days of business from Nov 25 to Dec 4, 2008 when the People's Alliance for Democracy occupied Suvarnabhumi and Don Mueang airports in Bangkok. Traffic through the airports plunged as travellers shunned Thailand.

Profit in the last quarter fell short of the 1.18 billion baht forecast by a Thomson Reuters poll of three analysts.

But AoT and analysts agreed that the company would post a higher net profit for fiscal 2010 than the 717.26 million baht (50 satang a share) in fiscal 2009.
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Old February 19th, 2010, 10:21 PM   #583
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TG may lift Nok stake Bigger say sought in budget carrier

Bangkokpost Published: 17/02/2010 at 12:00 AM

Thai Airways International plans to increase its stake in Nok Airlines to as much as 60% in order to exert more control over the low-cost carrier.

The flag carrier previously said it would raise its stake in Nok to 49% from 39%, but THAI now wants to increase this to 59% or 60%.

Senior THAI executives said increasing the stake was an essential part of building co-operation between the two airlines, which would end in Nok assuming the bulk of the national carrier's domestic services.

As many as nine of THAI's 12 domestic routes are no longer economically viable for the flag carrier due to its high cost structure and intense competition from Thai AirAsia and other low-cost airlines.

THAI plans to finance the increased stake in Nok through its own capital and THAI's provident fund and employees' welfare fund, said THAI executives.

The first step is for THAI to directly increase its holding in Nok to 49%. The two funds could then acquire the additional 10% to 11% stake from existing Nok shareholders with state affiliation status such as Krung Thai Bank and Government Pension Fund.

Other current Nok shareholders are Krung Thai Bank, Dhipaya Insurance Plc, the Government Pension Fund, each with 10%; CPB Equity Co with 6%; Siam Commercial Bank, Thailand Prosperity Fund by ING Funds (Thailand) Co and King Power International Co, each holding 5%; and individual investors who hold the remaining 10%.

By capping its direct holding in Nok at 49%, THAI can avoid transforming the budget airline into a state enterprise, which would increase the firm's bureaucracy and introduce cumbersome conditions that would slow Nok's ability to respond to the market.

THAI hopes to finalise increasing its stake within the next two months.Chokchai Panyayong, executive vice-president for strategy and business development at THAI, said the Finance Ministry should support the move.

Nok chief executive Patee Sarasin said he had no objection as the matter rests with the Nok shareholders.

THAI wants to offload flights to Chiang Rai, Khon Kaen, Krabi, Surat Thani and Hat Yai.

Services to Phitsanulok, Ubon Ratchathani and Mae Hong Son will be axed by the end of the month to be assumed by Nok under a code-share arrangement with THAI and the flag carrier's so-called "two-brand strategy".

THAI will temporarily retain one flight a day on the Bangkok-Ubon Ratchathani routes to ease the transition to Nok.
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Old February 23rd, 2010, 08:35 PM   #584
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Turkish Airlines strengthens its focus on Thailand

By The Nation 23/02/2010

Turkish Airlines will be increasing its services to Bangkok later in the year with at least 10 flights weekly or up to double daily to Bangkok if the code-sharing plan with Thai Airways International is agreed, Adnan Aykac, Turkish Airlines General Manager for Thailand, Vietnam and Cambodia said

Bangkok is also used as the regional headquarter for Indochina and Asia. Turkish Airlines will also wrap Baiyoke Tower to highlight the airline's campaign "Globally Yours".

Worldwide, the airline served 25 million passengers last year. This year, the global network would also be expanded to cover the US and Africa.

To Aykac, even though Thailand has faced several difficulties both economic and political in the last year, but it announced a six percent increase in load factor over the previous year taking the load ratio to 80 percent.

"As a European carrier Bangkok is the most important destination in the Far East and we have some exciting plans for 2010-2011. Turkish Airlines is also well into talks with Vietnam Airlines on cooperation between Ho Chi Minh and Bangkok in pursuit of making Bangkok as our regional hub linking Southeast Asia with Indochina," he said.

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Old February 24th, 2010, 12:05 PM   #585
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I'm really happy what is happening to THY now...it has really become a truly global brand...
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Old February 25th, 2010, 08:58 PM   #586
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Thai Airways, Nok Air unite to stem dominance

THE NATION Published on February 24, 2010

Thai Airways International and its sister budget airline, Nok Air, have announced a join strategy and business plan to prevent further inroads by foreign low-cost carriers in the home market, executives from the two airlines said yesterday.

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He said THAI and Nok Air would complement each other in areas where other low-cost airlines were attempting to take a bigger slice of the home market.

THAI will operate as a full-service airline, while Nok Air will focus on the budget market and take on all low-cost rivals.

From this year, the open-sky policy entitles regional airlines to operate between Asean capitals, and this will be expanded to other major cities soon.

Patee said Nok Air also planned to resume international services within the next two years, having withdrawn its Indian and Vietnamese routes in 2008 due to soaring oil prices.

Chokchai Panyayong, THAI's executive vice president for strategy and business development, said the airline had signed a memorandum of understanding on code-sharing and a two-brand strategy with Nok Air yesterday.

The agreement will not only mean Nok Air can operate more domestic routes, but also enable it to compete more successfully with other players in the home market.

Starting next Monday, THAI will grant Nok Air the right to operate three domestic routes: Chiang Mai-Mae Hong Son, Don Mueang-Phitsanulok and Don Mueang-Ubon Ratchathani. THAI will retain the Suvarnabhumi-Ubon Ratchathani route.

Nok Air will make use of another aircraft from THAI, bringing the total on loan this year to four.

The code-share agreement between THAI and Nok Air will help create a positive image, with the same standard of service and quality of fleet between the two carriers, said Chokchai.

The cooperation will strengthen service and competition in the area of full service, boost regional economy operations and support Thai tourism, he said.

Moreover, passengers will continue to receive the same standards of service they previously received from THAI, including the accrual of Royal Orchid Plus mileage.

This year, Nok Air projects a profit of Bt300 million, down from Bt380 million in 2009, due to higher oil prices. It expects to serve 3.2 million passengers, up from 2.3 million last year.

Chokchai said THAI would gain from lower operating costs in the domestic market after handing some routes over to Nok Air. This should lead to better full-year results for the national carrier.
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Old February 26th, 2010, 07:10 PM   #587
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Traffic hits historic high

Bangkokpost Published: 26/02/2010

Passenger traffic through Thailand's six main airports in January hit 5.47 million, a historic monthly high, says the Airports of Thailand Plc.

The surge was thanks to the global economic recovery, reduced political unrest and peak travel demand.

Last month's tally showed a steady return of traffic, especially among leisure travellers.

Traffic growth turned positive last August ending a dramatic contraction throughout the first seven months of last year.

Traffic through the six airports soared by 22.6% year-on-year in January, with international traffic rising by 25.1% to 3.54 million and domestic by 18.7% to 2.19 million, according to AoT figures.

Flights increased by 13.51% to 35,459 last month, 19,276 international (up 9.47%) and 16,183 domestic (up 18.73%).

Air freight showed a more dramatic improvement in January, jumping by 42.39% to 107, 926 tonnes.

International air shipments increased by 44.94% to a record 98,434 tonnes thanks to the recovery in global consumption and Thai exports.

Domestic air cargo increased significantly by 20.43% in January, rising to 9,492 tonnes.

The AoT's six airports finished 2009 with a better-than-expected contraction in passenger throughput of 0.87% to 53.93 million.

Combined aircraft movements through the airports last year slipped by 2.44% year-on-year to 362,476, with international frequencies dropping by 4.25% to 202,745 and domestic falling by 0.06% to 159,731.

Cargo throughput contracted by 11.83% to 1.13 million tonnes, with international tonnage plunging by 12.49% to 1.04 million tonnes and domestic volume dipping 3.78% to 94,066 tonnes.
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Old March 3rd, 2010, 09:29 PM   #588
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Chiang Mai airport completes B2bn upgrade into regional hub

Bangkokpost Published: 3/03/2010 at 12:00 AM

With the completion of its 2-billion-baht expansion, Chiang Mai International Airport now has an infrastructure that can support its aspiration to become a truly regional aviation hub.

The airport can now handle 8 million passengers a year, up from 3 million previously. The enlarged passenger terminal features a new section for international passengers and an upgraded domestic wing.

The new terminal takes a hint of inspiration from the style of the ancient Kingdom of Lanna, in what is now northern Thailand. The building covers 31,301 square metres and is designed to handle 2 million international passengers and 6 million domestic travellers.

The expansion began in 2004 and comprised 14 individual projects, which were carried out in phases until the recent completion of construction.

Ironically, the expansion began when the prospects for growth in air traffic through this northern capital were rosy, before Thailand encountered troubles including a coup, political unrest and economic crisis.

In the event, traffic through Chiang Mai has grown slowly in recent years, not even reaching the airport's original capacity.

Passengers passing through the airport in the fiscal year to September 2009 were 2.87 million, down 12.3% from the year before. Flight frequencies fell by 9.9% to 22,882, with cargo down by 21.5% to 17,617 tonnes, as Thailand underwent a series of negative impacts.

It has been questioned whether the expansion was premature and its scale was excessive.

But executives of Airports of Thailand Plc (AoT), the majority state-owned firm that operates the country's six main airports including Suvarnabhumi and Chiang Mai, defend the expansion as a long-term investment.

Infrastructure needs to be in place with spare capacity to meet growth should Chiang Mai want to attract traffic and become an air hub, they said.

With the completion of the Chiang Mai expansion, AoT will begin to seriously woo international carriers to make Chiang Mai their port of call. Its immediate target is to attract Chinese airlines to link Chiang Mai with Kunming, the route that Thai Airways International (THAI) used to run, said the airport's general manager Wisit Eiwprapha.

Eight international airlines operate through Chiang Mai with a total of 50 flights per week. They are THAI, Bangkok Airways, China Airlines, SilkAir, Lao Aviation, AirAsia, Korean Air and Air Bagan.

Six domestic carriers - THAI, Bangkok Airways, Orient Thai Airlines, Nor Air and Nok Mini - run 465 flights a week through Chiang Mai.

Meanwhile, plans are under way to build a terminal for private jets at Chiang Mai to meet growing demand.

A feasibility study is being carried out for the proposed terminal, which could either be built and managed by the private sector under a concession granted by AoT, or else developed and run by AoT. "We should have a clear picture about the project within this year," said Mr Wisit.

The facility may cost about 5 million baht to build and should be up and running in 2011 or 2012, he said.

AoT president Serirat Prasutanond said the upgrade of facilities and services at Chiang Mai has made the airport eligible to contest to become one of the world's best airports in the category of processing fewer than 5 million passengers a year. It will this year join the customer satisfaction rating conducted by the Geneva-based Airports Council International (ACI).
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Old March 4th, 2010, 09:15 PM   #589
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Amadeus helps BKK Airways reward agents

By The Nation 4/03/2010

Amadeus, a leading travel technology partner and transaction processor for the global travel and tourism industry, has teamed up with Bangkok Airways to launch an Amadeus PRICE IT Right promotion, which rewards travel agents who make Bangkok Airways bookings through Amadeus' distribution system.

Running from February 1 to 31 May 2010, travel agents participating in this promotion stand to win great prizes, and in turn help to boost travel bookings in Thailand.

The prizes on offer include shopping vouchers, domestic air tickets and five grand prizes of package trips to the Maldives, including flights and accommodation.

"The Amadeus PRICE IT Right booking and ticketing promotion is a great way to reward our travel agents for their loyalty in booking Bangkok Airways," said Prote Setsuwan, vice president for marketing at Bangkok Airways. "We are very proud to partner on this promotion with Amadeus, provider of the leading distribution system in Thailand and Asia Pacific," he said.

Varong Israsena, deputy sales director of Bangkok Airways, said, "We are already seeing an increase in the number of bookings being made by travel agents, and we anticipate that this promotion will help us to generate higher passenger numbers right throughout the promotion period. We look forward to welcoming even more visitors on Bangkok Airways to enjoy our world-famous Thai hospitality."
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Old March 11th, 2010, 09:55 PM   #590
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Thai to consider lease of Airbus planes

The Nation Published on March 12, 2010

Thai Airways International's board today will consider the short-term dry lease of three to six Airbus A300-350 aircraft to serve European routes, a move which could raise the airline's earnings by Bt1 billion per annum in the next three years.

Chokchai Panyayong, executive vice president for strategy and business development, yesterday said the THAI board had approved the leasing in principle in February and now the airline now urgently needed the new aircraft, given that some of its existing fleet cannot be operated.

"We service the [European] routes with a Boeing B747, which needs constant maintenance, while three A330-300 cannot currently be used due to substandard seating. Our schedules are disrupted. If the board approves the urgent lease, the contract could be signed this month for delivery in May," he said.

The aircraft would be leased from carriers such as Singapore Airlines at a cost of US$1.2 million (Bt39 million) per month each.

THAI expects the new aircraft to increase earnings. It earlier forecast a net profit of Bt4.3 billion for this year, Bt6 billion in 2001 and Bt8 billion in 2002.

Chokchai stressed that all airlines were focused on new products and better services. Aviation liberalisation in Asean and other areas in 2015 will also intensify regional competition, and THAI needs appropriate strategies on product development as well as fleet competitiveness.

Meanwhile, the International Air Transport Association expects its members to show combined losses of only US$2.8 billion this year, from an earlier projection of $5.6 billion.

Improvements are driven by economic recovery in the emerging markets of Asia-Pacific and Latin America, whose carriers posted international-passenger demand gains of 6.5 per cent and 11 per cent respectively in January.
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Old March 12th, 2010, 10:03 PM   #591
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THAI wins another best airline award

By The Nation 12/03/2010

Thai Airways International was recognised as Asia´s best airline for the seventh time, at this year's Go Asia Award ceremony that took place at the world´s biggest tourism fair - Internationale Tourismus Börse Berlin (ITB).

This year, THAI regained it position and came in first place.

Since 2004, Go Asia Awards have been awarded by Berlin-based marketing initiative "Go Asia" to leading tourism companies focusing on Asia. The awards are based on a comprehensive online survey among all registered users and more than 2,600 people participated in the vote in 2010. For the first time, votes were conducted on end-consumer and travel agent feedback.

In addition to THAI, Thailand was also awarded a Go Asia Award.

As in 2009, Thailand remained Asia's most admired travel destination. Other Go Asia Awards were handed over in the categories Best Tour Operator, Best Hotel and Best Tourism Board.
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Old March 12th, 2010, 10:34 PM   #592
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First TG's retro jet


Last edited by Powerstone; March 12th, 2010 at 11:24 PM.
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Old March 13th, 2010, 10:03 PM   #593
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THAI to halve D/E ratio with capital increase

By THE NATION Published on March 13, 2010

Thai Airways International's board yesterday approved a Bt10-billion capital increase. The decision requires shareholders' approval at a meeting on April 28, before a rights offering can be conducted in the second or third quarter of the year.

The Finance Ministry holds 51.03 per cent of the national flag carrier. The stake cannot be lowered if THAI is to remain a state enterprise.

THAI president Piyasvasti Amranand said proceeds from the share offering would be used for general corporate purposes, including to manage liquidity, finance future aircraft investments, strengthen the company's capital base and repay debts.

The offering is an integral part of THAI's commitment to pursue its long-term growth strategy and maximise shareholder value.

The proceeds will halve the debt-to-equity ratio from the current 4:1.

Aside from the capital increase, THAI will proceed with bond issuance and bank borrowings, as Bt29 billion of loans will mature this year, Piyasvasti said.

He said he believed not all the shares would need to be issued, as the carrier's stock price could improve in tandem with an improvement in performance.

The passenger cabin-load factor in the first two months of the year was the highest in THAI's history at 82.2 per cent, and the yield rose to Bt2.21 per passenger per kilometre.

Despite a 2009 net profit of Bt7.3 billion and the good cabin-load factor, the president said THAI remained vigilant and would continue to monitor its operations closely. The company is striving to further improve its efficiency and profitability.

A source from THAI added that the board also approved the three-year lease of three Boeing 777-300ER aircraft from Jet Airways, at US$1.1 million (Bt35.8 million) per month each.

The airline is also negotiating to lease three new 777-300ERs from Air India for five years.
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Old March 14th, 2010, 10:35 PM   #594
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Phuket-Tehran flight starts on March 18

By Phuket Gazette Published on March 15, 2010


The company, Homa Travel & Tour, has chartered a Mahan Air Boeing 747 for the service, Tourism Authority of Thailand's Dubai office director Pramote Sapyen said.

The three flights could bring in around 1,300 tourists from Iran this month alone.

Iran is Thailand's most rapidly expanding inbound tourism market in the Middle East, Pramote said.

Should the trial flights prove successful they could continue into April, when the low season for tourism generally begins.

The flights would then resume in October this year, when tourism arrival figures begin to increase.

In 2009, 117,520 Iranians visited Thailand, up 32.8 per cent from the previous year.
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Old March 18th, 2010, 09:46 PM   #595
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TG suffers South Africa delay Flights should start before World Cup 2010

Bangkokpost Published: 18/03/2010 at 12:00 AM

Thai Airways International's hope to add Cape Town as a second stop on its revived South African service has been set back by a permit delay.

THAI deferred the re-launch of its non-stop Bangkok-Johannesburg flight to June 2, two weeks behind its anticipated date, because securing a permit from South African authorities was taking longer than expected.

The flag carrier hopes to extend its flight from Johannesburg to Cape Town before returning to Bangkok to ensure maximum load and profitability, said a senior THAI executive.

THAI dropped the Johannesburg route in January 2009 because of falling passenger levels. The service was first introduced in October 2006 with three flights a week.

The airline is betting on this June's World Cup 2010 from mid-June to mid-July in South Africa to revitalise the route.

THAI will be the only carrier to fly non-stop between Bangkok and the two South African cities. It expects to fill seats by drawing passengers connecting from its North and Southeast Asia network.THAI will offer four flights a week to Johannesburg with a capacity of 292 - 30 in business class and 265 in economy.

Though it has already started taking bookings, THAI plans to launch a media and advertising campaign in the second half of next month.

THAI has been talking with South African Airways (SAA) about establishing a code-share agreement whereby THAI can carry its passengers through Johannesburg to South America using SAA aircraft.

SAA, a fellow member of Star Alliance, operates flights from its Johannesburg hub to Buenos Aires and Sao Paulo.

THAI shares rose yesterday to a 21-month high on expectations of rising travel demand and a peaceful outcome to the current political protests.

The shares rose by 13% to 27.75 baht in the morning session on the Stock Exchange of Thailand and closed at 27.25 baht, up 10.8%, in trade worth 536.22 million baht.

THAI stock has gained 48% this year compared with 3.4% in the SET index.

THAI carried 1.83 million passengers in January, a 16% increase from the previous year, according to company data released on Monday.
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Old March 19th, 2010, 04:30 PM   #596
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I hate the THAI sign on the tail, it looks
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Old March 20th, 2010, 06:09 AM   #597
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THAI Announces 50 th Anniversary Projects, Marking Dedication to Customers

Thai Airways International Public Company Limited announced special projects that will be held to commemorate its 50 th Anniversary of establishment. The announcement was made at a press conference held for the first time inside the passenger cabin of the Company’s Boeing 747-400 aircraft painted in THAI’s original livery that was used during its early years of operation.

As part of THAI’s 50 th Anniversary celebration, the Company will re-live its historical first flight on the route Bangkok – Hong Kong on 1 May 2010. On this special “Nostalgic Flight,” passengers will experience THAI’s first flight to Hong Kong as flown 50 years ago on 1 May 1960 and will travel on board a Boeing 747-400 that was repainted in the livery seen on the original DC-6B aircraft in 1960. THAI cabin crew will also help to set the mood as they will be dressed in the uniforms of those early days. THAI’s nostalgic flight will depart from Suvarnabhumi International Airport at 14.30 hrs on Saturday, 1 May 2010 and there will be special anniversary celebrations held upon arrival in Hong Kong marking this auspicious occasion. A special Royal Orchid Holidays package tour is offered to customers for this unique experience.

On 14 May 2010, THAI will hold a thank you reception at Royal Paragon Hall, Siam Paragon, for the Company’s loyal customers from various sectors who have used its services for the past 50 years. During this event, the Company will hold a special concert to thank its customers, passengers, Royal Orchid Plus members, representatives from the public and private sectors, with THAI staff performing on stage with professional artists.

Marking THAI’s 50 years of operation, the Company is in the process of publishing two books: “Smooth as Silk, the History of THAI” and “Visions of THAI – 50 Golden Years”. “Smooth as Silk, the History of THAI” is a special commemorative book that will be available to the public in July 2010 that chronicles THAI’s history from its founding through to present, featuring interviews with former members of Management and staff. “Visions of THAI – 50 Golden Years” is a special anniversary publication that will be released on 1 May 2010 that comprises the Company’s history and Royal flights, the concept of “THAI Service from the Heart” with stories about THAI hospitality, personal anecdotal memories from former THAI executives and staff, and future plans and policies.

The Company will hold a THAI 50 th Anniversary Exhibition, during 7-14 May 2010 at CentralWorld, featuring a showcase of THAI history from past to present and employing the use of new multimedia 4D technology. An “Airline Fair” will also be organized, offering customers special air fares and promotional travel packages from various airlines that may be purchased only at the exhibition air fare for a limited time.

In August 2010, THAI will organize a two-day Corporate Conference focusing on the Company’s future growth that will be attended by approximately 300 participants from the airline industry all over the world. His Excellency Abhisit Vejjajiva, Prime Minister of Thailand, will present the inaugural address as the keynote speaker. Guest speakers who are leaders in their profession will make presentations about topics such as managing Asia’s transformation, multi-faceted air travel services, and trends for growth in the aviation industry. THAI’s Board of Directors, Management, General Managers, Station Managers, and Accounting Managers from its offices worldwide will be in attendance, including the participation of Star Alliance GmbH’s Chief Executive Officer and management, as well as locally based and international media.

THAI, in cooperation with Thailand Post Co. Ltd., will issue Commemorative Postage Stamps marking the Company’s 50 th Anniversary. A total of 200,000 first issue stamp sets will be released for sale to the general public on the anniversary of THAI’s 50 th year establishment on 1 May 2010.

During the Company’s anniversary, THAI’s IT Sparkling project will allow customers to check international and domestic flight schedules and enables booking confirmation through all smartphones , making customers’ travel experience more convenient and accessible with flight-related information directly available. This project is an extension of THAI’s Cabin Attendant Pre-Flight Study and Briefing System that won an Asia Pacific ICT Award 2009 (APICTA) under the Tourism and Hospitality Category in Australia and helps crew members prepare themselves prior to flight departure.

THAI has three Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) projects underway during its 50 th Anniversary. The Pilot Doctors and Air Hostess Nurses Project is one of the Company’s CSR projects whereby pilots who are certified physicians, air hostesses who are registered nurses, along with the Company’s physicians, and volunteers cooperate to form a mobile medical unit to provide medical care at the THAI Border Patrol Police School in Sakaew, on 20 March 2010. Another CSR project, the Wheelchair Transport for Donation Project was initiated by the Company’s cabin crew to help disabled people in Thailand. Used wheelchairs were gathered, repaired, and cleaned to be in good condition by student volunteers in participating schools in Japan, then transported from communities in Osaka and Nara, Japan, on THAI Cargo in order to be donated to disabled people in Thailand. The Rak Khun Tao Fah Hospital Room Project is a CSR project where the Company helps to hospital rooms. These hospital rooms will be named “Rak Khun Tao Fah” or “Love You Sky High” after THAI’s slogan and will be available for patient use at various hospitals in Bangkok and provincial destinations that THAI serves.

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Old March 22nd, 2010, 07:04 PM   #598
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THAI to lease three aircraft Talks in progress with Air India for three more

Bangkokpost Published: 22/03/2010

Thai Airways International has agreed to lease three long-haul wide-body jets from Jet Airways and is negotiating for three more of a similar type from Air India.

The Thai flag carrier will pay slightly more than US$1 million a month for each of three Boeing 777-300ERs to the Mumbai-based airline under a three-year lease.

THAI is also in talks to lease another three B777-300ERs from Air India, India's largest carrier, for three years with a two-year extension option, said Pruet Boobphakam, executive vice-president for commercial affairs.

The six aircraft are meant to address the shortfall in capacity resulting from a series of problems including the delay in the delivery of new jetliners to THAI's fleet and frequent non-scheduled maintenance of its older aircraft.

THAI decided to lease to serve growing demand for its European routes.

Delivery of five new A330-300s, which were supposed to be flying now, was delayed indefinitely because of the Japanese aircraft seatmaker Koito Industries' failure to install seats in the economy section of the aircraft.

The Yokohama-based company has been unable to get the seats certified for safety, prompting THAI to cancel the contract with Koito and seek a new seat supplier.

Mr Pruet said the leased jets were about three years old and were due to enter THAI's service in June.

The planes have eight seats in first class, 30 in business and 274 in economy. The first-class section features enclosed suites with flat-bed seats, a feature THAI lacks but wants to make a standard offering on its long-haul aircraft.

As of January, Jet owned 10 of the jets it is loaning to THAI, which can fly 14,685 kilometres non-stop. It has 89 different aircraft in service.

Air India indicated it could make three new B777-300ERs now in final production at Boeing's US facilities available to THAI in October. But these only offer four first-class seats and lack the enclosure that Jet's planes feature.

As THAI is looking to standardise its offerings for marketing purposes, these planes are making THAI hesitate.

Air India's planes have 35 seats in business class and 303 in economy. It has nine B777-300ERs in service with six ordered. It operates 35 jets.
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Old March 23rd, 2010, 07:34 PM   #599
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THAI to keep Bangkok-Khon Kaen route

Bangkokpost Published: 23/03/2010 at 12:00 AM

Thai Airways International (THAI) yesterday denied that it would drop its service from Bangkok to Khon Kaen and let its budget affiliate Nok Airlines take over the route.

Both THAI executive vice-president Chokchai Panyayong and Nok chief executive Patee Sarasin have separately said they are perplexed by the outcry from local business, tourism and educational bodies about the possibility of this change.

"We really have no plan to stop flying to Khon Kaen," said Mr Chokchai. "Why should we? The route is making money."

Separately, Mr Patee said Nok has never harboured the idea of flying to Khon Kaen in place of THAI.

"We simply don't have enough aircraft capacity to do so. Even if we did, THAI would not let us because the route has been profitable for them," he told the Bangkok Post.

The two executives said they did not understand why Khon Kaen bodies such as the local chapters of the Federation of Thai Industries and the Thai Bankers Association as well as Khon Kaen University were responding to inaccurate reports.

These groups have assumed THAI would drop the Bangkok-Khon Kaen route and let Nok take over as it did on March 1 for three loss-making domestic routes: Bangkok-Phitsanulok, Chiang Mai-Mae Hong Son and Bangkok-Ubon Ratchathani.

Under political pressure, THAI continues to offer one daily flight on the Bangkok-Ubon Ratchathani route, allowing its sister carrier Nok Airlines to run two other daily services.

Over the last five years, THAI has lost an average of 86.3 million baht a year on operating its Bangkok-Phitsanulok services, 74.9 million baht a year on Bangkok-Ubon Ratchathani and 49.9 million baht a year on Chiang Mai-Mae Hong Son.

Local bodies opposed to Nok running the Khon Kaen route have accused the budget carrier of unreliability, including flight delays and cancellations.

Mr Patee said this criticism is unjustified. "For instance, our on-time performance is something like 94%. Come on, we're not that bad," he said.

Meanwhile, Nok will add a third daily flight on the Bangkok-Ubon Ratchathani route from April 1 to meet higher travel demand.
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Old March 24th, 2010, 08:01 PM   #600
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Nok considers Phrae, Roi Et

Bangkokpost Published: 24/03/2010

Nok Airlines, the budget carrier affiliate of Thai Airways International, is eyeing Phrae and Roi Et to grow its secondary domestic route network.

The two proposed routes, from Nok's hub at Bangkok's Don Mueang Airport, could open next year.

The launch will require two additional ATR-72 turboprops, which would be sought abroad, to join two similar aircraft leased from THAI.

"We are exploring the opportunities to fly to Phrae and Roi Et as people there are very keen to see their provinces being connected again by air," said Nok chief executive Patee Sarasin.

Roi Et was last served by PB Air, the private airline founded by Boon Rawd Brewery baron Piya Bhirom-Bhakdi.

The airline's closing in November ended flights to Lampang, Mae Sot, Nan, Nakhon Phanom, Sakon Nakhon, Buri Ram and Roi Et.

While some PB Air routes have since been covered by Nok and Bangkok Airways, there are still no flights from Bangkok to Mae Sot and Nan.

Nok has taken on three PB Air routes - from Don Mueang to Sakon Nakhon, Nakhon Phanom and Buri Ram - using ATR-72s leased from THAI.Bangkok Airways began to cover Lampang, which was once served by PB Air, by extending its route from Bangkok's Suvarnabhumi Airport to Sukhothai from last month. The service to Lampang is operated by 70-seat ATR-72 aircraft.

Nok is also using two ATR-72 planes leased from THAI on the Chiang Mai-Mae Hong Son route, which it took over from the flag carrier this month.

The Department of Civil Aviation (DCA) has been encouraging existing airlines, and newly licensed carriers like Nakhon Chiangmai Air and Legacy Air, to re-establish air links with several provinces following the demise of PB Air.

Nok operates more than 45 domestic flights a day, mostly on domestic trunk routes including Chiang Mai and Phuket with five B737-400 jets.

Meanwhile, Mr Patee reported better-than-expected results for Nok's operations so far this year, with a net profit of 54 million baht in January and 43 million baht in February. A profit of 52 million baht is expected for this month.

Airlines with domestic flights are benefiting from the political protests in Bangkok, with residents flying from the capital to the provinces whenever the opportunity arises, he said.

Nok expects its net profit for 2010 to beat last year's 334 million baht.
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