THAI Smile opens bookings

Posted on April 20, 2012

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Thai Smile , the light-premium brand  owned and managed by Thai Airways International, launched its website, Wednesday, gearing up sales ahead of its first flight, 7 July, to Macau.

The official launch is set for 27 April at a Rak Khun Tao Fah event hosted by the national airline at Siam Paragon.Online booking for its first services to Macau are now open while ticketing via travel agents opened earlier in the month. Unlike low-cost airlines and Nok Air, the Thai Smile system is open to all travel agencies to sell, while  payments can be made through the same channels that are used to book and pay for tickets on Thai Airways International.

THAI Smile managing director, Woranate Laprabang, told TTR Weekly that THAI Smile will operate to five destinations — one regional which is Macau and another four, domestic destinations, ex-Bangkok to Krabi, Surat Thani and from Chiang Mai to Phuket.“After Macau, Thai Smile will replace Thai Airways full-service flights to Krabi and Surat Thani as well as the service linking Chiang Mai to Phuket. There have been requests that new airline should serve domestic market too. So we will operate more domestic destinations than we earlier intended.”

Previously, the ratio was 80/20, for regional and domestic routes, but that has been revised to a ratio of 70/30. “Also we will start with more domestic routes because our domestic market is growing…. the  political situation is stable and the economy has improved. Besides, it is easier to begin in the home market for a new brand, rather than going right into the regional arena,” said Mr Woranate.

The first A320 will arrive, 23 June, to operate the double daily service to Macau from 7 July. The second and third aircraft will arrive in August to kick off the service to Krabi and Surat Thani 16 August. The fourth aircraft will join the fleet in September to operate flights between Chiang Mai and Phuket in October.

“The capacity to Krabi will be lifted by 15% to 20% as we increase flights from two in the low season and three in high season to four and five respectively, but using a smaller aircraft. Capacity to Surat Thani will only increase slightly because the frequencies will be maintained at twice daily while the A320 is slightly bigger than the B737 currently used. Also, THAI Smile will offer roundtrip services between Chiang Mai and Phuket twice daily compared to the TG one-way service,” said Mr Woranate. Sales to Krabi and Surat Thani should open in June (two to three months before the flight).

As for regional routes, Mr Woranate said they would be finalised just ahead of the fifth and the sixth aircraft joining the fleet in January and March.THAI Smile pitches the lowest online fare to Macau at Bt6,210 all inclusive. The flight will depart to Macau at 0745 and 1640 and returns to Bangkok at 1215 and 2115.A promotional Macau Stayover package, (two-day one night) will start from Bt2,395 per person inclusive of accommodation, breakfast and roundtrip airport transfer.

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