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|Founded||1 May 1960 (merged with Thai Airways Company on 1 April 1988)|
|Frequent-flyer program||Royal Orchid Plus|
|Fleet size||91 (+56 orders)|
|Destinations||71 (60 international + 11 domestic.)|
|Company slogan||Smooth as Silk/ I Fly THAI|
|Parent company||Thai Ministry of Finance , Thai Ministry of Transport|
|Headquarters||Chatuchak District, Bangkok, Thailand|
Thai Airways International Public Company Limited (THAI) (SET: THAI, Thai: การบินไทย) is the national flag carrier and largest airline of Thailand. Formed in 1988, the airline has its corporate headquarters in Chatuchak District, Bangkok, and primarily operates out of Suvarnabhumi Airport. THAI is a founding member of the Star Alliance. The airline is the largest shareholder of the low-cost carrier Nok Air with a 49% stake, and it also has plans to launch a regional carrier under the name Thai Smile in the middle of 2012 using new Airbus A320 aircraft.
From its hub at Suvarnabhumi Airport, THAI flies to 71 destinations in 35 countries, using a fleet of 91 aircraft. The airline was once the operator of two of the world's longest nonstop routes between Thailand and Los Angeles and New York, but due to high fuel prices and the withdrawal of aircraft, the airline abandoned all nonstop U.S. services in 2012. Currently, services between Bangkok and Los Angeles are served via Incheon Airport near Seoul. THAI's route network is dominated by flights to Europe, East Asia, and South/Southwest Asia, though the airline serves Johannesburg in South Africa and five cities in Oceania. THAI was the first Asia-Pacific airline to serve London Heathrow Airport. Among East Asian carriers, THAI has one of the largest passenger operations in Europe.
THAI is currently an official sponsor of Football Association of Thailand.
THAI has its origins in 1960 as a joint venture between Scandinavian Airlines System (SAS), which held a 30 percent share of the new company valued at 2 million Baht, and Thailand's domestic carrier, Thai Airways Company (Thai: เดินอากาศไทย). The purpose of the joint venture was to create an international wing for the domestic carrier Thai Airways Company. SAS also provided operational, managerial, and marketing expertise, with training assistance aimed 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 responsibility and the number of expatriate staff duly decreased, with expatriates accounting for less than one percent of staff based in Thailand in 1987.
The carrier's first revenue flight was on 1 May 1960. Flights were operated to nine overseas Asian destinations from Bangkok[when?]. The first intercontinental services started in 1971 to Australia, and then to Europe the following year. Services to North America commenced in 1980.
On 1 April 1977, after 17 years of capital participation by SAS, the Thai government bought out the remaining 15% of SAS-owned shares and THAI became an airline fully owned by the Thai government.
On 1 April 1988, then-Prime Minister Gen. Prem Tinsulanonda, in seeking to have a single national carrier, merged the international and domestic operations of the two companies to form the present company, Thai Airways International. On 25 June 1991, the new THAI listed its shares on the Stock Exchange of Thailand and offered them to the public. The THAI public offering of shares is the largest ever undertaken in the country.
Using Airbus A340-500s it acquired in 2005, THAI commenced nonstop flights from Bangkok to New York, its first nonstop services to North America. The airline later converted existing one-stop services to Los Angeles into nonstop services using the same aircraft type. The service to Los Angeles was again reverted back to one-stop service at Seoul on 1 May 2012 leaving the airline with no nonstop service between Thailand and North America. Citing very high fuel costs, THAI discontinued the New York service in July 2008, even though the airline had been able to fill 80% of the seats.
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.
During the late 2000s, THAI's aggressive growth was hampered by a combination of internal and external factors, including a spike in fuel prices, domestic political conflict in Thailand, and the global economic crisis of the late 2000s. In 2008, after achieving profitability for the previous 40 years, THAI recorded a loss for the first time in its history at around 21 billion Baht (US $675 million). The airline cited high fuel costs and Thailand's political situation. As of Q2 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 of 2.5 billion Baht.
While celebrating its 50-year anniversary in 2010, THAI, spearheaded by Piyasvasti Amranand, its president and a former energy minister, charted new plans for the airline's future, including a significant aircraft fleet renewal and an upgrade of existing services. THAI has since 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 also announced plans to phase-out inefficient aircraft, including its Airbus A340-500s. The airline will take delivery of its first Airbus A380 aircraft in the latter half of 2012, intending to eventually deploy the aircraft on its core European routes.
THAI has also resumed its network expansion with the resumption of flights to Brussels, in addition to a new nonstop flight from 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 will be launching a regional carrier dubbed Thai Smile which will operate narrow-bodied Airbus A320s on regional and domestic routes. The new airline expects to initiate commercial operations in July 2012, after its first A320s are received. Thai Smile is expected to serve as a regional full-service airline providing connectivity to THAI's main international routes.
THAI expects to be the first carrier in Asia to fly commercial flights using biofuels. The carrier launched the initiative with experimental flights in December 2011 as part of its Corporate Social Responsibility program, otherwise known as "Travel Green." THAI hopes to stimulate sustained biofuel production in Thailand by working with Thai government agencies and regional corporate partners, such as PTT Public Company Limited. The effort aims to reduce carbon dioxide emissions in regional air travel as well as position Thailand to be the "bio hub" of Asia.
* A maximum stay of 21 days is required for passengers traveling between domestic points within Japan on TG-Marketing flights code-shared with Japan Airlines.
THAI is one of the few airlines with an inflight uniform change policy. International female flight attendants are required to change from their corporate purple suits (for use outside the cabin) into traditional Thai dresses (as seen on the company's marketing campaigns) prior to the general boarding of passengers. They are also required to change back into the former prior to disembarkation. Consequently, traditional Thai dresses are only visible to the traveling public on-board THAI aircraft or in THAI's premium lounges in Bangkok. Cabin crew of nationalities other than Thai are not allowed to wear the traditional Thai attire. Male flight attendants also have on-board suit jackets that differ from those worn on the ground.
|Airbus A300-600R||13||0||0||28||0||232||260||To be phased out|
|Airbus A320-200||0||11||0||30||0||144||174||5 purchased and 6 leased with deliveries between 2012 and 2015 for Thai Smile.|
|Airbus A330-300||20||5||0||36||0||263||299||One painted in Star Alliance livery.
Five new aircraft for delivery in 2012. Long-term plans include phasing-out of three aircraft beginning in 2017.
|Airbus A340-500||4||0||0||60||42||113||215||To be phased out by 2012-2013|
|Airbus A340-600||6||0||8||60||0||199||267||To be phased out by 2016|
|Airbus A350-900||0||12||TBD||4 Purchased and 8 Leased with deliveries between 2016 and 2018. Replacing A340s|
|Airbus A380-800||0||6||12||60||0||435||507||3 to be delivered in 2012
3 in 2013
|Boeing 737-400||9||0||0||12||0||137||149||To be phased out in 2012/2015|
|Boeing 747-400||16||0||14||50||0||325||389||One painted in Star Alliance livery and one in a retro livery.
Economy class refurbishment on 12 aircraft, business class and first class refurbishment on 6 aircraft, is scheduled for 2011–2012. The 6 oldest aircraft will be phased out
|Boeing 777-200||8||0||0||30||0||279||309||Economy Class refurbishment on all 8 aircraft expected between 2011 and 2012. Long-term plans include phasing-out of two aircraft starting in 2017.|
|Boeing 777-300ER||3||14||8||30||0||274||312||5 leased from Jet Airways. These five aircraft will leave the fleet in 2013. An order of six new two-class aircraft will begin delivery in late 2012.|
|Boeing 787-8||0||6||TBD||All leased, with deliveries between 2014 and 2015|
|Boeing 787-9||0||2||TBD||All leased, with deliveries in 2017|
|Thai Cargo Fleet|
|Boeing 747-400BCF||2||0||112,760 kg||Converted from passenger aircraft |
THAI’s fleet development plan, as of December 2011, for the period 2010-2022 is in three phases:
On 13 June 2011, THAI's Board of Directors announced they would purchase 15 aircraft and acquire the remaining 22 on operating leases. The purchased planes include six Boeing 777-300ERs, to be delivered in 2014 and 2015, four Airbus A350-900s (2016 and 2017) and five Airbus A320-200s (2014 and 2015). The leased planes include six 787-8s and two 787-9s from US lessor International Lease Finance (ILFC). The -8s will be delivered in 2014 and 2015, while the -9s will be delivered in 2017. In addition, THAI will lease six A350-900s from Aviation Lease and Finance, to be delivered in 2017, and two A350-900s from CIT Aerospace International, which will deliver the aircraft in 2016. The airline will also lease six A320-200s from RBS Aerospace International, to be delivered in 2012 and 2013. All the operating leases have terms of 12 years each.
THAI maintains three maintenance centers located at U-Tapao International Airport, Don Mueang International Airport, and Suvarnabhumi Airport. The centers service aircraft belonging to other airlines in additional to THAI aircraft.
THAI Technical is certified internationally by the Federal Aviation Administration, the Joint Aviation Authorities, the European Aviation Safety Agency Part-145 Maintenance Organisation, and the Japan Civil Aviation Bureau for facilities at Don Mueang International Airport and Suvarnabhumi Airport. It has also received its Requalifier Identification Certificate from the United States Department of Transportation for its operations at U-Tapao International Airport and Suvarnabhumi Airport.
THAI initiated a program entitled “The Most Hygienic In-Cabin Environment Program" with an emphasis on air quality, surface cleanliness, and food safety. The program includes removal of all inflight disposable materials after flight, sterilization and fumigation of all cabin equipment, and inspection of the air-circulation system. A special audit process is also carried out for the cleaning and sanitization of the overall aircraft systems by a team of specialists. These measures are applied to the entire THAI fleet.
THAI is the first airline to install hospital-grade air-filter True HEPA, capable of intercepting up to 99.999% of dust particles and micro organisms on every flight.
The World Health Organization awarded the airline a plaque for the implementation of its in-cabin management system in 2004. It was the first award of its kind to be presented to a private organization.
THAI Royal Silk or Royal Orchid lounges are available to THAI's premium passengers in various domestic and international destinations. The airline's hub at Suvarnabhumi Airport also includes a Royal First Class Lounge for first class passengers. Passengers traveling internationally from Bangkok in Royal Silk or Royal First classes are also entitled private security screening and passport control facilities, as well as free spa services at the Royal Orchid Spa, with different services available depending on the service class flown by the passenger. These services are not available to non-premium class passengers. THAI's first class ground services at Bangkok additionally provide private transportation services within the terminal to first class passengers.
THAI offers four cabin classes: Royal First, Royal Silk, Premium Economy and Economy.
THAI's standard Royal First Class seats, manufactured by B/E Aerospace, were introduced with the arrival of the Airbus A340-600, and are equipped with lumbar massage and 10.4" AVOD touchscreens. These seats are also available on select Boeing 747-400 aircraft. A new version of Royal First Class seating in a suite or enclosure configuration is available on Boeing 777-300ER aircraft, and will soon be available on THAI's upcoming Airbus A380 aircraft and select Boeing 747-400 aircraft after a 2012 refurbishment. Royal First Class passengers can pre-order from 22 available meals.
The new generation of Royal Silk Class seats has been installed on THAI's Airbus A340, Boeing 777, select Boeing 747-400, and select Airbus A330 aircraft. The angled shell design seats have 58-62" of pitch and a width of 20-21.5". Seats have lumbar massage and are equipped with 10 to 15" AVOD screens. Prior to refurbishment, older generation Royal Silk seats on some Boeing 747-400 aircraft are sold as Premium Economy Class seats on routes to Scandinavia. A new set of Royal Silk seats is expected with the arrival of THAI's Airbus A380s and new Boeing 777-300ERs scheduled for delivery beginning in late 2012. The new seats will allow for a fully horizontal recline.
Premium Economy seating is configured as 2-3-2 seating and is only available in this form on Airbus A340-500 aircraft. Seats include 135 degrees of recline, leg-rests and 42" in seat pitch. Premium Economy class passengers also have more extensive menu options. Premium Economy class seats are equipped with 9" touchscreen with AVOD. There are currently no plans to expand the use of Premium Economy Class to other aircraft; in addition, the class may be phased out entirely following the planned discontinuation of A340-500 aircraft as well as the refurbishment of Boeing 747-400 aircraft.
THAI's Economy Class offers between 32 and 36" seat pitch depending on the aircraft type. Personal screens with AVOD are present on Airbus A340, some Airbus A330, some Boeing 747-400 and Boeing 777 (models-200ER, -300, -300ER only) aircraft. All Boeing 747-400s and 777-200s are expected to have personal screens with AVOD once aircraft refurbishment on the remaining aircraft is completed by the end of 2012.
Royal Orchid Plus is THAI's frequent flyer program. It has a membership of over two million people.
Earning miles There are two types of miles which can be accrued with a Royal Orchid Plus account:
Eligible Qualifying Miles (EQM) are earned on:
Qualifying Miles (Q Miles) are the miles flown as well as the bonus miles earned from travel in particular classes of service on THAI and Star Alliance airlines. Royal Orchid Plus miles are earned based on the paid class of travel.
Partner Miles are earned from non-airline partners, such as hotels.
Status Tiers There are four tiers in the Royal Orchid Plus program
Presidents of the company include
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to: Thai Airways International|
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