20 Oct '11, 6am

Thai Airways planning for ultra low cost carrier

SINGAPORE: Thai Airways said it is planning an ultra low cost carrier, in addition to Thai Smile, the budget unit which will begin flying from July 2012. Thai Airways President Piyasvasti Amranand told MediaCorp the ultra low cost airline is needed because extreme, low-budget flying is the fastest growing segment of the aviation market. He gave no timetable for the launch, but said, "we still need that to capture the very low end of the market." For now, Thai Airways is concentrating on its Thai Smile unit, which will compete with regional budget carriers such as Malaysia's Air Asia and Qantas Airways unit, Jetstar. Mr Amranand said Thai Smile had ordered 11 Airbus SAS A320 planes, the first of which will arrive in June next year. He added that the new airline will likely need additional aircraft as it expands. Thai Airways is launching Thai Smile to reclaim market share, ...

Full article: http://www.channelnewsasia.com/stories/afp_asiapacific_bu...

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