BANGKOK, Sept 20 – THAI Smile Air, Thai Airways International (THAI)’s new sub-brand carrier, will begin operations in July next year, according to THAI President Piyasvasti Amranand.
Mr Piyasvasti said the business and investment plan of THAI Smile Air is concluded and that the airline will operate with domestic routes to provinces such as Chiang Rai, Surat Thani, Ubon Ratchathani, Udon Thani, and Khon Kaen.
THAI’s low-cost business unit managing director Capt Woranate Laprabang said last month that the airline will use Suvarnabhumi Airport as its hub.
The airline will open international routes in 2013 and will focus on penetrating the markets of China, India and coutries in the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN).
THAI Smile Air will receive four 174-seat Airbus A320 aircraft in June, August and September next year, and another two in January and March 2013.
Personnel for the unit will be from WingSpan Services, an outsourcing company in which THAI is a stakeholder. Applications open in October with an initial requirement for 40 pilots and 100 female flight attendants, secondary school graduates not over age 24 having TOEIC scores of at least 600.
According to Mr Piyasvasti, the new airline’s image will be based on a trendy, friendly and worthy concept, different than the general concept of other low-cost airliners.
The carrier is positioned to be a light-premium sub-brand of THAI, offering passengers another option for flight services. Innovative designs are already underway for staff uniforms, aircraft logo and related designs.
The airline’s name ‘THAI Smile Air’ was approved in August by the THAI executive board.