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Old November 19th, 2010, 10:32 AM   #661
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Thai Airways delays launch of new budget airline
19 November 2010

BANGKOK, Nov 19 (Reuters) - Thai Airways International Pcl :

* The flag carrier will delay the launch of its new low-fare airline alliance with Singapore's Tiger Airways Holdings Ltd to May, 2011, from late March, Chairman Ampon Kittiampon told reporters.

* The delay of Thai Tiger Airways is due to the process of securing funding approval for a 98.9 million baht ($3.31 million) investment from the Transport Ministry and the National Economic and Social Development Board, he said.

* Formed in August, the new carrier, 51 percent owned by Thai Airways and 49 percent held by Tiger, will be based in Bangkok.
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Old November 20th, 2010, 02:12 PM   #662
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http://m.bangkokpost.com/business/206568

Thai mulls yet another start-up: Thai Lite

The new airline, tentatively called Thai Lite, would be part of a multi-brand strategy aimed at cashing in on the entire spectrum of passenger market segments.

Planned as a wholly owned THAI subsidiary, Thai Lite would operate as a full-service legacy airline on routes within a radius of six hours' flight time from Bangkok to destinations such as southern China, India and Indochina.

Ideally, it would fly to cities not being served by the parent airline such as Guilin, China and Siem Reap, Cambodia or possibly take over some slow-traffic routes operated by THAI such as to Hyderabad, India.

In principle, Thai Lite would compete directly with other foreign regional operators that have benefited from market segment differentiation, said senior THAI executives.

The proposed airline would be served largely by a fleet of new-generation narrow-body jets such as Boeing B737s-800/900s and Airbus A320s and A321s, as well as a number of short-haul versions of the Boeing B787 Dreamliner wide-body aircraft.

Patterned after Singapore Airlines' SilkAir and Cathay Pacific's Dragonair, the proposed Thai Lite has received strong backing from from THAI president Piyasvasti Amranand, who is aggressively pursuing an ambitious business growth plan for the 50-year-old state-controlled airline.

THAI planners see the new regional airline as a vehicle supporting its future business plan, which may be difficult to realise under THAI's existing cumbersome and costly operating structure.

The flag carrier hopes to see Thai Lite takes to the skies in the next year or two at the earliest.

Thai Lite's launch will very much depend on whether THAI can get Thai Tiger Airways (TTA), the new low-cost carrier owned 51% by THAI and 49% by Singapore-based Tiger Airways, off the ground.

The launch of TTA, THAI's first step in its multi-brand strategy, is fraught with controversy and opposition, especially from the Transport Ministry.

The ministry has continued to raise questions about TTA's legitimacy, which THAI top management considers a trivial matter that should not affect the low-cost airline's start-up.

One lingering issue is a law prohibiting an employee provident fund from becoming a shareholder in an airline. THAI management has proposed that its employee provident fund take a 1.2% share in TTA while THAI would hold a 49.8% stake.

"Only when TTA can take off and stay afloat in a healthy manner for a while can Thai Lite could move onto the launching pad," a senior THAI executive told the Bangkok Post yesterday.

Last month, Ampon Kittiampon, THAI's chairman, reiterated that the flag carrier has not been swayed by criticism of its partnership with Tiger Airways but admitted the start-up could be delayed by up to two months from next March as scheduled due to complications.

He said the TTA joint venture has received Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva's blessings.

Mr Piyasvasti earlier said the worst possible scenario for THAI if TTA failed would be a loss of only 100 million baht, half of the total initial capital.

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Old November 20th, 2010, 07:47 PM   #663
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Source:http://www.nationmultimedia.com/home...-30142755.html

Quote:
Thai Tiger launch delayed by 2 months
By THE NATION
Published on November 20, 2010


The setting up of Thai Tiger Airways will be delayed by two months because Thai Airways International (THAI) wants to use its regular budget to fund the start-up of the low-cost airline.

Earlier, Thai Tiger was to be operational by next March, using a Bt99.8-million extraordinary budget to pay for THAI’s 49.9-per-cent equity stake.

However, that move was rejected by the Transport Ministry, prompting the THAI board of directors to turn to its regular outlay, resulting in a two-month delay.

THAI chairman Ampon Kittiampon said after a board meeting that employees of Thai Tiger who have Thai citizenship would also hold a collective 1.1-per-cent stake in the new carrier, making the total Thai shareholding 51 per cent.

Tiger Airways Holdings will pick up a 39-per-cent stake, while 10 per cent will be held by Ryan Asia. Thai Tiger Airways’ board will have seven directors, four from THAI, two from Tiger Airways, and one from Ryan Asia.

The new airline is aimed at competing against other low-cost operators in the industry, in which THAI will be positioned as a full-service upmarket operator.

“The THAI board believes that Thai Tiger is a strategic move to prevent further damage to THAI’s market share in the low-cost segment,” Ampon said. “Unless we go ahead with this move, our share will continue to be eroded.”

He said he expected endorsement for the Thai Tiger plan from the Transport Ministry and the National Economic and Social Development Board within one month.

Meanwhile, the THAI board also approved Bhinkham Rohitasthira, vice president for commercial development and support, as vice president for in-flight services. He replaces Sathok Varasarin, who will become managing director of the catering department.

Teerapol Chotichanapibal, the current managing director of the catering department, will be made vice president for commercial development and support and the acting executive vice president of the commercial department.
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Old November 21st, 2010, 04:55 AM   #664
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Old November 21st, 2010, 04:56 PM   #665
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This thread title also needs correction. Thai's IATA code is TG, not TH.
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Old November 23rd, 2010, 01:29 AM   #666
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rohne View Post
This thread title also needs correction. Thai's IATA code is TG, not TH.
Typo. Thanks for letting me know.
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Old November 23rd, 2010, 06:11 PM   #667
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Orient Thai to buy Russian jets for domestic services

Bangkokpost Published: 23/11/2010 at 12:00 AM


Orient Thai Airlines has been given a new lease on life with the acquisition of 12 new jets and an image makeover aimed especially at its former budget subsidiary One-Two-Go.


One-Two-Go’s name on an MD-82 has been replaced by Orient Thai in an image makeover.

While much of the expansion will be aimed at consolidating its mainstream business _ the low-fare domestic air transport segment _ the privately owned airline is contemplating its first long-haul flights to London.

Heralding the move will be deployment of 12 Sukhoi Superjet 100/95Bs, narrow-body jets with 98 seats produced by the Moscow-based jet maker Sukhoi Civil Aircraft (SCAC).

Negotiations with SCAC have entered an advanced stage for immediate purchase of 12 twin-engine SSJ100s, with delivery of the first two planned for next November, said Kajit Habanananda, Orient Thai's chairman.

Included in the talks are an option for another 12 SSJ100s and a package deal calling for SCAC to set up a Sukhoi aircraft maintenance centre and pilot training facility in Thailand.

The airline hopes to finalise negotiations, which began in July, next month, Mr Kajit told the Bangkok Post.

Orient Thai will be the first customer outside Russia for the aircraft, valued at US$25 million apiece, so it will receive generous financial terms.

The Russian-made jets are meant to be the new workhorses plying domestic routes, either substituting or supplementing Orient Thai's ageing fleet of MD-80s and MD-90s.

But the airline does not plan to phase out the MD jets, now numbering nine although three of them are used as spares, just yet. "They're still in good working order, and we intend to continue to use them," said Mr Kajit.

By both retaining the old 172-seat MD aircraft and acquiring the new Russian-made jets, Orient Thai will boost its domestic flight capacity significantly, inching closer to the level of major player Thai AirAsia, which has 20 180-seat A320s.

SCAC said all 12 initial Sukhoi jets will be delivered to Orient Thai by 2014.

Mr Kajit said the smaller Sukhoi better fits demand on most domestic routes and is technologically more advanced with a fuel burn that is 7-10% lower than other aircraft of comparable size and capacity, helping to cut costs.

The Sukhoi and MD planes will be used essentially on domestic routes serviced by One-Two-Go, whose name was tainted by the Phuket crash in September 2007. Earlier this year, its name was replaced by that of its parent company, Orient Thai Airlines.

The Orient Thai Airlines brand name was previously used for the group's scheduled international routes and charter flights.

However, the MD jets will later play a greater role in Orient Thai's charter operations as the Sukhoi jets are phased into the airline's fleet.

In an image makeover, the airline recently adopted a new face for its logo, with the words "Orient" in red and "Thai" in blue and a red flying bird running along the same line. The airline is creating a new slogan that will emphasise the theme of "sincerity" in its service.

It will also introduce new staff uniforms, possibly replacing the current yellow ones with a new colour scheme.

Orient Thai is searching for a second B747-400 jumbo jet with which to launch its first regularly scheduled intercontinental flights. Its only current international route is Bangkok-Hong Kong, although on Dec 29 it will begin thrice-weekly service to Incheon, South Korea.

"We're studying the possibility of flying regularly for the first time from Bangkok to London's Gatwick," said Geoffrey Chung, an adviser to Orient Thai's board, adding that the airline will slowly expand its scheduled international service.
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Old November 23rd, 2010, 08:06 PM   #668
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^ Interesting choice of Russian aircraft for domestic services. Wonder if they'll even fly that to HKG so there'll be 2 747s for Europe.
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Old November 23rd, 2010, 10:39 PM   #669
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^
i've seen the 2 747s of orient thai and they look like they need a complete overhall to make them more viable for the london trip
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Old November 24th, 2010, 03:47 AM   #670
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LCCs carrying over 27% of local traffic
24 November 2010
Bangkok Post

Budget carriers continue to expand their traffic through Thailand's six key airports as more passengers embrace no-frills air travel.

Figures compiled by Airports of Thailand Plc (AoT) showed low-cost carriers (LCCs) passing through airports including Suvarnabhumi surged in the first nine months by 38.49% year-on-year to 13.99 million, while total LCC flight movements grew 25% to 108,123.

LCC passengers at AoT-operated airports now account for 27.93% of the total, up from 20.18% in the previous fiscal year.

The volume of LCC flights also jumped to 31.2% of all flights passing through airports, up from 24.95% in the same period last year.

Between October 2009 and September 2010, 50.08 million total passengers passed through AoT airports, down 14.1% from the year before.

Combined aircraft traffic also shrank by 12% to 346,538, due to Thailand's political unrest and the global economic downturn.

International passenger traffic carried by LCCs in the fiscal year climbed 41.59% year-on-year to 4.79 million, while international LCC flights surged 22.28% to 35,843.

Domestic LCC passengers grew 36.93% over the same period last year to 9.2 million with domestic LCC flight volume rising 26.45% to 72,280.

LCCs were first introduced to Thailand in 2003 by One-Two-Go Airlines (now rebranded as Orient Thai Airlines), Thai AirAsia (part of Malaysia's AirAsia) and later Nok Airlines (part of Thai Airways International) and have played an increasingly greater role in air transport.

Passengers are now familiar with limited services for fares 20-30% lower than on full-service airlines like Thai Airways.

The growing popularity of LCCs has prompted conventional airlines including THAI to create Nok Air and more recently to establish Thai Tiger Airways to guard its market share.

Foreign no-frills carriers have also been flocking to Thailand. These include Jin Air, a discount subsidiary of Korean Air, which began connecting Seoul with Bangkok.
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Old November 26th, 2010, 08:06 PM   #671
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Nok speeds up additions of seven 737s

Bangkokpost Published: 26/11/2010 at 12:00 AM

The budget carrier Nok Air is hastening its fleet renewal programme with seven Boeing 737-800 planes to be acquired about two years ahead of an earlier planned schedule.


The board earlier this month approved the deployment of the new Boeing models that will be the largest, more advanced and most capable aircraft in the fleet.

It also approved the acquisition of four more ATR-72 turboprops to meet improving travel demand.

The acquisitions are in addition to an earlier phase approved by the board in August for four B737-400s.

The acquisition of the four ATR-72s is consistent with the original schedule of 2011 and 2012, but the start of deliveries of the B737-800s was shifted from the end of next year to the second quarter 2011, or sooner.

Nok Air also increased the number of B737-800s to seven from six envisaged earlier as it is optimistic about rising traffic demand and keen to upgrade its older fleet with more fuel-efficient and modern planes, said chief executive Patee Sarasin.

The carrier currently operates seven B737-400s and two ATR-72s for its all-domestic services.

Nok Air wants to return four of the existing B737-400s leased from Thai Airways International, aged nearly 20 years, to its parent beginning early next year, subject to approval from THAI.

The three other existing B737-400s have been leased from international leasing companies.

Nok Air is in talks with several leasing firms for the fleet of seven B737-800s, with an average age of 8-9 years and configured with 189 seats in one class (economy), for delivery in stages between 2011 and 2012.

Meanwhile, three of the four B737-400s being leased under the August approval are due to enter services on an interim basis within the next month.

Nok Air has also opted to maintain its two existing ATR-72s, leased from THAI, to support its plan to expand its secondary and inter-provincial network.

More French-made ATR-72s would be instrumental to launching flights to Nan, Phrae, Lampang, Roi Et, Chumphon and Ranong, according to Mr Patee.
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Old November 29th, 2010, 06:21 PM   #672
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Source:http://www.businesstimes.com.sg/sub/...15034,00.html?

Quote:
Thai Air wants to end state control, says president

BANGKOK - Thai Airways International Plc is forming a plan to end state control and pave the way for an aggressive regional expansion that includes a new mid-tier airline and a revamped fleet, its president said on Friday.

The flag carrier, facing increased regional competition, is already negotiating with local and foreign creditors to remove debt covenants that would allow the Ministry of Finance to reduce its 51 per cent stake to 49.9 per cent, he said.

'We now comply by all the laws related to private companies and yet we also have to abide by certain government regulations and that slows up the management enormously,' Piyasvasti Amranand told Reuters in an interview.

The plan is part of an aggressive turnaround bid after years of losing market share in Asia, where airlines are benefitting from swelling middle classes, fast economic growth and the liberalisation of Southeast Asian air policies.

Mr Piyasvasti, whose appointment in October 2009 has shaken up the half-century-old carrier, said he expects all debt covenants to be removed by February, after which the Ministry of Finance could transfer 2 per cent of its shareholdings to the Vayupak state mutual fund, ending state control.

Mr Piyasvasti also wants to acquire 26 new wide-body aircraft and 11 narrow-body planes by 2017 as it prepares to launch a new budget carrier, Thai Tiger, in May to be followed by a new, as yet unnamed mid-tier regional airline shortly afterwards.

'What we are looking at would be 26 new wide-body aircraft. These will be new generation and will come, I hope, between now and 2017,' he said.

The plan for new planes was approved by the carrier's board on Saturday, he said.

Airbus, a unit of European aerospace and defence group EADS, has proposed A350 wide-body jets while Boeing Co has proposed its 787 Dreamliner.

'Let them compete,' he said. He said Thai Airways aimed to have a 15 billion baht (US$500 million) revolving credit line and was looking to issue long-term debentures in Thai baht following a review of its credit rating by local agency TRIS Rating Co Ltd.

'The management will be interviewed by TRIS for the whole of this afternoon for the new credit rating, and then after that we can begin the process for issuing new debentures and that will be early next year,' he said. -- REUTERS
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Old November 29th, 2010, 06:30 PM   #673
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By clwong from HKADB :







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Old December 1st, 2010, 01:04 PM   #674
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Bangkok Airways expands to India

Bangkokpost Published: 30/11/2010 at 12:00 AM


After a two-year break, Bangkok Airways is resuming the expansion of its international network with a foray into the Indian subcontinent.


The privately owned carrier, which had undergone a rationalisation with the suspension of several international routes, is to embark on flights from Bangkok to Mumbai and Dhaka in March next year.

The launch represents a renewed but cautious move as the global airline industry steadily recovers from its slump as the world economy picks up.

Branding itself Asia's boutique airline, Bangkok Airways will start serving the Bangkok-Mumbai route on March 2 with six flights a week using an Airbus A319 jet configured with dual classes and 120 seats.

The Bangkok-Dhaka service is due for take-off on March 27 with seven flights a week using an Airbus A320 with 162 seats in all economy class, said vice-president Nandhika Varavan.

The Indian subcontinent is the only international region where the airline is looking to expand because of promising traffic opportunities. It wants to expand to other major Indian cites like New Delhi and Kolkata, but is restricted by availability.

M.L. Nandhika said the increasing demand on the Bangkok-Mumbai route comes from more Indians visiting Thailand for leisure and business.

For Dhaka, the airline expects the bulk of passengers will be Bangladeshi traders visiting Thailand for business, she added.

Bangkok Airways appointed Global Aviation Services Pvt as its general sales agent for India.

India is becoming a hot spot for Bangkok-based airlines to spread their wings due to the rising popularity of the Thai capital as a destination both for leisure and business among Indians.

On Dec 1, Thai AirAsia (TAA) will break new ground in air travel between Thailand and India with the debut of low-cost service.

After two years of planning and navigating India's complex approval process, the no-frills airline will launch flights from Bangkok to Kolkata and New Delhi.

Bangkok Airways executives do not see TAA as direct competitors because Bangkok Airways targets the full-service market segment.

It has no plans to resume services on routes suspended two years ago to stem losses of about 1 billion baht in 2008 and 2009. Those routes included Ho Chi Minh City, Guilin, Macau, Hiroshima, Fukuoka, Xian and Shenzhen.

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Old December 8th, 2010, 07:56 AM   #675
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Source:http://www.bangkokpost.com/business/...-starting-2012

Quote:
More fun aboard starting 2012
Published: 8/12/2010 at 12:00 AM
Newspaper section: Business


Passengers flying Thai Airways International (THAI) starting in 2012 may be forgiven for thinking they are flying with Singapore Airlines or Emirates Airlines instead.



Semi-private suites in first class, flat-bed seats in business and television screens for each economy class seats - in-flight features that passengers of the world's leading airlines have taken for granted for quite some time now - will become THAI's new hallmark.

The flag carrier is spending billions of US dollars on a radical makeover of its seats, in-flight entertainment and other passenger amenities as it tries to play catch-up with the competition.

THAI executives admit the airline's current in-flight products that many passengers joke about such as rolled-up video projector screens hung on the walls are obsolete and turn away many potential travellers.

"The current in-flight products are indeed our weak point. They're inconsistent from aircraft to aircraft, route to route, and they impede our ability to move up the ladder of the world's best," said Rangsiman Mokkhasmit, THAI's director for product development.

The in-flight product revamp, now in progress, will be instrumental to the national carrier's ambitions of entering the top five of the Skytrax rankings and enhancing its appeal in the premium long-haul segment.

THAI ranked ninth in the Airlines of the Year 2010 survey, up from 10th in last year's poll conducted by the British aviation research body.

"Despite not having modern in-flight products, THAI is already among the top 10, so it should not be too difficult to climb up to the top five any time soon," said Mr Rangsiman

THAI last rolled out a cabin upgrade, along with an overall improvement plan, in 2004, but that was based on technology from earlier in the decade due to the long lead time in receiving approval and procurement.


THAI’s new business class is a slightly toned-down version of Emirates’.

The airline lags behind the world's other major airlines, especially the cash-rich Middle East carriers, which have been going the extra mile to lure passengers, particularly premium ones, with the latest offerings while charging the same or even lower fares.

For instance, while other leading airlines now offer full-flat seats and 17-inch TV screen with more than 600 channels of entertainment (in the case of Emirates) in business class on medium- and long-haul routes, THAI's long-haul passengers have to be content with tilted "angled flat" seats and 10- or 15-inch screens with limited entertainment options.

"Even though our new in-flight products are not the latest and do not have any new trend-setting features, they don't really look too bad," said Mr Rangsiman. "Passengers should be pleased."

The plan is in line with THAI's policy of being a "premium service network airline" in the same league with other major carriers including Lufthansa, Asiana Airlines, Cathay Pacific, Singapore Airlines and Emirates.

THAI's new first class will feature full-flat seats in a mini-suite format, largely resembling what Lufthansa offers, with leg rests and seat-back screens of at least 23-inches in size. The new business class seats and arrangement resemble a slightly toned-down version of Emirates', with a minimum 15-inch screen.

Premium cabins will also feature a sharply improved audio-video on demand entertainment system offering up to 100 movies, 150 TV programmes and 500 CDs along with quality noise-cancellation headphones.

These are all a far cry from THAI's current offering of 48 movies, 45 TV programme and 80 CDs.

And featured in the new economy class will be individual TV screens of at least 10 inches in size on the seat backs.

Future premium passengers will soon be able to make on-board calls from their mobiles, access the internet and watch live TV with USB connectivity.

The in-flight product revamp, which will also feature an overall "look and feel of Thainess", will be introduced to not only THAI's new jetliners, but also the existing fleet under a retrofitting programme that may last until 2023.

The package of new features will herald the arrival of a fleet of new wide-body jetliners - six A380-800 superjumbos and seven A330s - to THAI's fleet starting in February 2012. Work has already begun on existing aircraft.
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Old December 17th, 2010, 09:46 AM   #676
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Thai Airways Coach Bookings Lag Behind Premium Travel

Dec. 14 (Bloomberg) -- Thai Airways International Pcl, Thailand’s largest carrier, said economy-class bookings are lagging behind corporate travel because deadly anti-government riots in April triggered a canceling of conferences.

“Once they cancel, those bookings disappear for more than a year,” President Piyasvasti Amranand said in an interview in Queenstown, New Zealand, where the Star Alliance group of airlines is holding its annual meeting.

At least 89 people died in the protests, which saw shopping malls torched and hotels closed amid battles on Bangkok streets between the military and anti-government demonstrators. Countries including Australia and Canada issued advisories against traveling to the Thai capital, and the carrier filled just 56 percent of its seats in May and lost about $90 million in revenue.

“Group tours are not really back,” Piyasvasti said. The carrier is filling about 75 percent of its seats, “which is lower than it should be,” he said.

The Bangkok-based airline’s stock is up 185 percent this year, compared with a 41 percent increase in Thailand’s benchmark SET Index. The shares dropped 1.8 percent, the steepest decline since Dec. 8, to 53.25 baht as of 11:50 a.m. local time.

‘Positive Outlook’

Thai Airways bookings should “get back to normal” during the first quarter of next year, said Nalyne Viriyasathien, an analyst at DBS Vickers Securities (Thailand) Co.

“It will take some time to reach the level before the political violence,” Nalyne said. “The outlook is quite positive now. The more stable political situation should attract more tourists next year.”

Piyasvasti, Thailand’s former energy minister, is shopping for planes after cutting expenses and restructuring debt to help revive state-controlled Thai after a record loss in 2008. The carrier raised about 15 billion baht ($500 million) from a share sale to existing shareholders in September.

Thai Airways last month announced plans to put 37 new airplanes into service by the end of 2017 as it replaces an aging fleet and seeks to add new routes.

The company will take delivery of six Airbus SAS A380s starting in 2012 and is in talks with Boeing Co. to be a “launch customer” for a revamped jetliner known as the 777-X that will see a new wing designed for the wide-bodied plane, Piyasvasti said.

Until 2012, most of the new planes will be matched by retirements of older jetliners. After that, Thai Airways will focus on seeking new routes.

“Everything should be done by the end of 2012 and then we will look at more,” Piyasvasti said. “The growth will come from the second phase of acquisitions, where we will see 12 narrow-body planes coming in from 2011 and 26 wide-bodied planes coming in between 2012 and 2017.”

The new planes will increase the airline’s fleet to 107 in 2017 from 84 currently and cut the average age to about eight years from 11 years, he said.
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Old December 17th, 2010, 08:12 PM   #677
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THAI to raise Bt8 bn from bonds

THE NATION Published on December 18, 2010


Thai Airways International plans to issue Bt8 billion bonds in the first quarter of the new year, mainly for refinancing purposes.

President Piyasvasti Amranand said the maturity would range from seven to eight years, matching the terms of Bt29-billion in loans extended earlier by financial institutions. The company will soon appoint the underwriter for the bond issue, which will help it lock in the current low interest rate.

The board of directors yesterday approved Bt2.3 billion out of the proposed Bt5 billion to Bt6 billion budget for aircraft refurbishment between 2011-2013. It also approved fuel hedging of 69 per cent of total oil consumption, as well as fuel surcharges to keep up with the renewed oil price spike.

Under the programme, first-class cabins will include 180-degree flat seats with 23-inch personal screens. Business-class will have 180-degree reclining seats on intercontinental routes and 170-degree reclining seats on regional routes, with 15-inch personal screens. New economy class seats will be provided with 9-10.6-inch personal screens. Passengers in all classes will enjoy in-flight connectivity functions to access voicemail, short messages and multi-media messages and the Internet. Additional galley equipment will include microwave ovens and espresso coffee machines, Galley Air Chiller for consistent tem?pera?ture control of foods, and Induction Heat Unit (IHU) for preserving the true flavors of freshly prepared meals.

In November, the airline reported that its available seat-kilometre (ASK) for November 2010 was 4.2 per-cent higher than in November 2009. Revenue passenger-kilometre (RPK) was 1.4 per cent higher than November 2009. Cabin factor averaged 72 percent.
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Old December 18th, 2010, 06:04 AM   #678
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THAI sees 10% revenue gain as achievable in 2011
18 December 2010
Bangkok Post

Thai Airways International has conservatively projected a 10% increase in revenue but flat growth in seat occupancy next year, in line with expected volatile fuel prices and possible fallout from Europe's economic difficulties.

The national carrier's board yesterday declined to offer precise sales or profit forecasts, but president Piyasvasti Amranand said 10% growth appeared possible if there were no major political disruptions next year.

The airline expects a cabin factor of 74.6% of seats filled, the same as this year, mainly due to a 6.5% rise in capacity from by new jets next year.

For the first 11 months of this year, THAI recorded an average cabin factor of 73.5%, 1.2 percentage points higher than the same period last year, in the face of a 5.3% increase in capacity.

THAI also projects flat growth in its freight load factor next year as cargo capacity is expected to increase by 12.8%.

From January to November 2010, the average freight load factor was 61.9%, which was 17.9% higher than in 2009, as it ramped up capacity by 17.9%.

Last month, chairman Ampon Kittiampon said the airline was likely to post a record a 2010 net profit of at least 10 billion baht, thanks to a recovery in travel demand, cost-saving measures and the easing of local political tensions.

THAI earned more than 12 billion baht in the first nine months of this year, so it will not be difficult to raise the bar further for the October-December period, he said.

THAI's conservative forecast for 2011 generally reflects what the International Air Transport Association (IATA) envisages for next year. That is because the industry's recovery cycle would pause in 2011, IATA director-general Giovanni Bisignani said on Tuesday.

IATA has forecast that world oil prices would average $84 per barrel in 2011, up from $79 this year. This would increase fuel costs to 27% of operating costs from 26% in 2010, he said.

Meanwhile, the THAI board yesterday approved the issue of 8 billion baht in debentures in the first quarter of next year to refinance maturing debt and for working capital.

Dr Piyasvasti expected the debentures would have a maturity of 7-8 years.

Tris Rating yesterday upgraded THAI's debt rating to A+ from A and rated the proposed bonds A+, citing an improved financial profile following a share sale in September.

THAI shares closed yesterday on the SET at 49.50 baht, down 50 satang, in trade worth 318 million baht.
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Old December 21st, 2010, 05:27 AM   #679
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c an't wait to fly Thai Airways!
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Old December 21st, 2010, 08:22 PM   #680
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THAI cancels flights to snowbound UK

By The Nation Published on December 22, 2010


Thai Airways International on December21 yesterday cancelled flights from Bangkok to London because of adverse weather conditions at Heathrow Airport. It also announced it would increase domestic flights during the New Year season.

A limited number of flights are being allowed to operate to and from London. Therefore, priority for flight departures will be granted to airlines with passengers currently stranded at Heathrow.

For passenger safety and also in accordance with an advisory from London Heathrow airtraffic control, regularly scheduled flights will not operate.

THAI also announced that two additional flights would be operated on the LondonBangkok route to transport passengers from Heathrow.

The airline said the flights cancelled yesterday were TG916 and TG917 BangkokLondon. At the same time, two additional flights were to be operated yesterday from London to Bangkok; these were TG9119 and Tg9179.

THAI also operated additional flight TG9119 on Monday on the LondonBangkok route, which arrived in Bangkok yesterday, transporting 368 passengers on board a Boeing 747400 aircraft.

Passengers travelling to London are advised to keep abreast of the weather conditions.

The airline yesterday also announced an increase in domestic flight frequencies to meet passenger demands over the holiday period. THAI president Piyasvasti Amranand said it would increase frequencies to and from Chiang Mai and Krabi from December 30 to January 2 to facilitate increased passenger volume on these routes.
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