History: Thai Airways International PCL, is the national carrier of the Kingdom of Thailand. The is owned by the Ministry of Finance, the Thai Government. Thai Airways International was founded in 1960 as a joint venture between Thailand's domestic carrier, Thai Airways Company (TAC) and Scandinavian Airlines System (SAS) with the Scandinavian carrier initially providing a 30% share capital. SAS also provided operations, managerial and marketing expertise, with training assistance aiming at building a fully independent national airline within the shortest possible time. Thai nationals, through training and experience, were gradually able to assume full managerial.
The inaugural flight was between Bangkok and Hong Kong in a 4-engined piston-prop Douglas Caravelle 6-B on May the first, 1960. The airline's first intercontinental services using Douglas DC-8s started in 1971 to Australia, and then to Europe the following year. A number of the larger Douglas DC-10 wide-body tri-jet was acquired in the later 1970s.
On April 1, 1977, after a 17 year capital participation partnership with SAS, the Thai Government bought out SAS remaining 15 % holding and THAI became fully owned by the Thai people. Services to North America commenced in 1980.
Thai Airways International growth was greatly accelerated on April 1, 1988 as a result of its merger with Thai Airways Company (TAC), the domestic airline.
On 14 May 1997, THAI, along with Lufthansa, Air Canada, SAS, and United Airlines, founded the world's first and largest airline alliance, Star Alliance.Throughout the 2000s THAI aggressively continued its route network expansion with new services to Chengdu, Busan, Chennai, Xiamen, Milan, Moscow, Islamabad, Hyderabad, Johannesburg and Oslo.It also expanded routes from Phuket making it a truly international base, the airline launched non-stop flights from Phuket to Tokyo–Narita, Seoul–Incheon and Hong Kong. Using the Airbus A340-500s it acquired in 2005, THAI commenced non-stop flights from Bangkok to New York, its first non-stop services to North America. The airline later converted existing one-stop services to Los Angeles into non-stop services using the same aircraft type. Citing very high fuel costs, THAI discontinued the New York service in July 2008, even though the airline had been able to fill 80 percent of the seats. The service to Los Angeles was again reverted to one-stop service via Seoul on 1 May 2012, leaving the airline without a non-stop service between Thailand and North America. The airline has no plans to pursue newer North America destinations (e.g., Houston, TX, USA) or purchase the Boeing 747-8 for trans-Pacific routes since Thai Airways is operating the Airbus A380.In 2006, THAI moved its hub operations to the new Bangkok Suvarnabhumi Airport. Coinciding with the arrival of new aircraft during the mid-2000s, as well as its new hub airport in Bangkok, the airline launched a brand renewal by introducing a new aircraft livery, new aircraft seating, and revamped ground and air services.In 2008, after achieving profitability for the previous 40 years, THAI recorded a loss for the first time in its history. The airline cited high fuel costs and Thailand's political situation. As of 2009, after a series of restructuring initiatives, including a two-year deferral of its Airbus A380 deliveries, the carrier returned to a net profit. It has since received its first A380s and commenced service to Hong Kong on 6 October 2012.
While celebrating its 50-year anniversary in 2010, THAI placed orders for a number of aircraft, including the cost-efficient Boeing 787 and Airbus A350, and it has also launched a refurbishment of its Boeing 747 and 777 cabins. Mindful of rising fuel costs, the airline has now phased-out the most inefficient aircraft, including its Airbus A340-500s. The airline took delivery of its first Airbus A380 aircraft in the last half of 2012, intending to eventually deploy the aircraft on its core European routes. (Frankfurt and London).
THAI has also resumed its network expansion with the resumption of flights to Brussels, in addition to a new non-stop flight from Stockholm and Copenhagen to Phuket. At the same time, the Greek debt crisis caused THAI to suspend its services to Athens. As part of THAI's broader growth strategy in the region, THAI launched a regional carrier with light-premium services, Thai Smile which operate narrow-bodied Airbus A320-200 on regional and domestic routes. The new airline initiated commercial operations in July 2012.In July 2015, THAI announced the planned cancellation of service to Los Angeles after 25 October 2015, marking the end of US service.In June 2016, as a result of its reconstruction plan, THAI announced to commence three-weekly Tehran service and resume Moscow service from October and November 2016 respectively. The airline also considered to return to the United States using Boeing 787-9 by 2017. While Thai Smile, its subsidiary, is planning for new regional routes such as Cebu, Medan, Surabaya, Chandigarh, Shantou and Tianjin. On 23 September 2016, Thai Smile,THAI's subsidiary announced 4 new services to Gaya, Varanasi, Jaipur and Lucknow in India marking the expansion of THAI's network in regional market.
In the fourth quarter of 2016, Thai Smile has vowed to resume its suspended routes and THAI's terminated regional routes which are Da Nang, Kota Kinabalu, Luang Prabang and Mandalay. Also the airline has considered to launch new services to Hangzhou and Zhengzhou.
THAI to consistently rank among top three airlines in Asia and top five in the world due to it's high quality product, excellent hospitality and service and always providing a smile on all it's services and flights.
Operations: The main operating bases for Thai Airways are Bangkok International airport (BKK) and Don Muang (DMK). The latter only serving mainly domestic flights with its subsidiary Thai Smile. From BKK Thai flies to domestic and international destinations from Asia to Europe, the Pacific and the Middle East. It covers every main Asian destinations where it has at least one daily flight. Popular destinations are to Japan, Malaysia or Singapore. To Europe Thai flies to London, Paris, Frankfurt, Munich, Zurich, Copenhagen, Oslo, Stockholm, Rome, Milan and Brussels and as far as Moscow.
Thai is popular to fly to Australia and new Zealand where it offers daily flights to Sydney, Melbourne, Perth, Brisbane and Auckland.
To the Middle East it flies direct to Dubai, Tehran and Muscat.
Fleet: The fleet has enjoyed a much needed rejuvenation in recent years as Thai has acquired new aircraft. Currently it uses on its value service Thai Smile the Airbus A321 and A320. High density routes are operated with Boeing 777, 747 and Airbus A330.
Long haul destinations are mainly served with Boeing 777, 747 and new Dreamliners 787-800 from Boeing. Also for long haul services, it deploys Airbus A380, A330 and new A350 are being introduced.
|Excellent on-board service, always with a smile.||Prices often being expensive.|
|Comfortable seats, good leg-room and nice colourful seating layout.||No printing boarding pass facility on-line on selected long haul routes|
|Best connections for Thailand and neighbouring countries.||No direct routes to the USA|
|Introduction of new planes (Airbus A380, A350, Boeing B787 and B777)|
|Free seat selection at the time of booking directly with Thai.|
|Emergency seats are not charged for (request at airport)|
|Included in the ticket price: luggage and meals|
|Free online check-in and seat selection|
|Member of the Star Alliance for millage redemption.|