THAI Prepares for the High Season
12th Sep 2017
Thai Airways International (THAI) prepares for the upcoming high season and the influx of tourists it expects by announcing new routes on its network, as well as increasing the frequencies on several of its more popular destinations in Europe and East Asia.
According to THAI Vice President Chaiyong Ratanapaisalsuk, who is in charge of the network and fleet management at the carrier, the plan is to introduce more flights to and from China, Japan, Korea and Taiwan in East Asia, but also Vienna in Central Europe as of October this year.
Mr. Chaiyong said the following about THAI’s plans:
China is becoming more important for THAI. We plan to operate a direct flight from China to Phuket in October to cope with the high season. The airline is also considering increasing flights from other major cities in East Asia.
So even though Thailand civil aviation industry still has the red flag status imposed by the United Nation’s International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) in 2015 for its safety shortcomings, which basically prevents Thai-based airlines from opening new routes, changing aircraft type or increasing the frequency on an already existing route (so basically they can’t do anything with the route), the European Aviation Safety Agency has regardless allowed THAI to start Vienna flights.
Right now, Thai Airways operates to 10 different countries in Europe and flies to 12 cities on this continent. However, the airline plans to do more and expand to Central Europe and countries such as Poland, Czech Republic, Hungary, Slovakia and Croatia and Slovenia.
Mrs. Usanee Sangsingkeo, Thai Airways acting president and executive VP for commercial said that the European market is growing steadily. She said:
The opening of flights to Vienna will enable Thai Airways to serve passengers from East European countries within a 300-kilometer radius as well. These countries are Czech Republic, Poland, Slovakia, Hungary, Croatia and Slovenia, with a combined population of approximately 32 million people.
According the Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) six million tourists traveled last year from Europe to Thailand. This year, that number will likely be exceeded as in the first six month of 2017, 3.4 million Europeans travelled to Thailand. That’s 7% more than during the same period last year.