‘Thai Smile’ approved as name of THAI’s new low-cost carrier, in operation next year

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Thai Airways International’s executive board (THAI) meeting this week approved ‘Thai Smile’ as the name of the national flag carrier’s lost-cost airline, set to be in operation in the middle of next year, according to airline president, Piyasvasti Amranand.

‘Thai Wings’ was previously selected but changed, as THAI staff participated in choosing the new name.

Thai Smile will have 11 new aircraft, four of which will be 174-seat Airbus A320s, to be received early next year.

THAI’s low cost business unit managing director, Capt Woraneti Lahprabang, said the airline will use Suvarnabhumi Airport as its main hub to operate flights to provinces such as Chiang Rai, Surat Thani, Ubon Ratchathani, and Udon Thani.

The unit’s airline is expected to start making profits in 2013 of Bt5 billion on average, while it is also to consider opening international flights and indicating routes in the same year.

Personnel for the unit will be from THAI and from THAI’s subsidiary companies.

Meanwhile, there has been no progress regarding the setting up of low cost ‘Thai Tiger Airways’, an earlier proposed joint venture of THAI and Singapore’s Tiger Airways. THAI executives will consider the matter again at a later date.