THAI’S high-flying ambition: Soaring to new heights in tourist traffic

Photo: Martin Baertges, Flickr.

Thai Airways International (THAI) unveiled an ambitious plan to expand its international flight offerings in the forthcoming high season. The airline’s primary focus is to draw in a higher number of tourists.

A notable feature of this expansion is the airline’s decision to recommence flights to Istanbul, Turkey, which is a significant aviation hub for Asia, Europe, and Africa. This service was previously suspended in 1994.

Chai Eamsiri, the CEO of THAI, revealed that this decision was taken following the signing of a memorandum of understanding with Turkish Airlines in August.

From December, THAI will operate a daily flight to Istanbul. Chai revealed the Airbus A350-900 will serve Flight TG900, departing from Suvarnabhumi Airport at 11.45pm and touching down in Istanbul at 6.05am local time.

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“Next, THAI will launch new flights to Oslo in Norway, Milan in Italy, and Sydney and Perth in Australia.”

Chai also shared optimistic projections for the airline’s cabin load factor on flights from China, anticipating a 75% surge in the fourth quarter. This is attributed to the visa-exemption scheme for Chinese citizens, which is projected to generate 240 million baht in monthly revenues during the visa-free period.

The visa exemption scheme, effective until February 29 next year, has resulted in an influx of reservations on Chinese travel booking platforms, including Ctrip and Tuniu. To meet this demand, THAI intends to operate daily flights to Beijing, Shanghai, Guangzhou, Kunming, and Chengdu, as per Chai.

Additionally, THAI plans to increase its services to Japan, operating daily flights to Sapporo and Fukuoka, escalating Tokyo services from 21 to 28 per week, and initiating charter flights to Sendai. Starting December 1, Taipei will also benefit from twice-daily flights, reported Bangkok Post.

From October 29, Thai Airways aims to increase the number of flights to Vietnam’s Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City. Moreover, a new route to Kathmandu, Nepal is set to kick off on December 1.

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Mitch Connor

Mitch is a Bangkok resident, having relocated from Southern California, via Florida in 2022. He studied journalism before dropping out of college to teach English in South America. After returning to the US, he spent 4 years working for various online publishers before moving to Thailand.

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