THAI Smile Air to separate from flag carrier THAI


BANGKOK, Nov 16 – THAI Smile Air, a budget airline operated by Thai Airways International (THAI), will be split off as a sister company of the national flag carrier, according to a resolution by the THAI board of directors.

Board chairman Ampon Kittiampon said today that THAI president Sorachak Kasemsuwan has been instructed to map out a four-point business strategy, including Thai Smile Air status as a sister company, to be submitted to the board of directors on Dec 15.

The board positioned THAI as a premium airline while Thai Smile Air will provide multi-point regional service and Nok Air, another sister company, is a quality low-cost air carrier.

Mr Ampon said the four-point strategy which must be developed involves the THAI kitchen, ground services, air cargo and expense control, especially on fuel.

At its meeting today, the board was informed of the THAI performance in October which saw 1.71 million passengers, an 8 per cent increase from the previous month, and an 11 per cent increase from the same period last year.

Performance in the second quarter was Bt 3 billion below target while expenses were Bt 1 billion higher.

Mr Sorachak, however, painted a positive projection for an 11-12 per cent revenue growth next year when THAI will have 17 more aircraft.

The THAI president predicted a total revenue of Bt 223-224 billion next year. He also targeted increasing sales volume by 15 per cent from online ticketing.