Thai Airways International’s international winter schedule 2015/2016 sees the carrier increase frequencies on its London and Frankfurt routes, temporarily suspend its Los Angeles route and transfer selected regional routes to its subsidiary THAI Smile.
Effective from 25 October 2015, THAI will offer more choice for those wanting to book flights from Bangkok to London and vice versa, with the current schedule of seven flights per week (once daily) being doubled to 14 flights per week (twice daily) operated by Airbus 380-800 and Boeing 777-300ER aircraft.
Flights from Bangkok to Frankfurt and vice versa will also be doubled, from the current seven weekly flights (once daily) to 14 weekly flights (twice daily) and also using Airbus 380-800 and Boeing 777-300ER aircraft.
Effective from the same date, THAI will temporarily suspend its four times a week Bangkok-Seoul-Los Angeles service, and reduce frequency on its Bangkok-Kolkata service from ten flights a week to one flight daily.
An earlier decision to suspend the four times a week Bangkok-Rome service with the activation of the international winter schedule 2015/2016 has been postponed and the carrier’s flights between the Thai and Italian capital cities will now be suspended in February 2016.
THAI president Charamporn Jotikasthira said the company’s board of directors agreed to postpone the suspension to 1 February 2016 in order to meet travel demand during the high season in Rome. THAI will work with the Tourism Authority of Thailand to jointly promote roundtrip travel on the route, which the airline will serve on a Monday, Wednesday, Friday and Sunday using Boeing 747-400 aircraft.
Thai Airways says its passengers will continue to be served through its planned operation from Bangkok to Munich/Frankfurt/Brussels and partner airline connections to Rome. In the return direction from Zurich/Frankfurt/Munich to Bangkok, THAI will operate Airbus 380-300 and Boeing 777-300ER aircraft with convenient connection to the Thai capital.
The winter schedule will see THAI transfer selected routes to THAI Smile, which will operate them with smaller aircraft and aim for better efficiency and cost effectiveness.
THAI Smile will operate the Bangkok-Hyderabad, Bangkok-Luang Prabang and Bangkok-Changsha routes once it receives permission from the respective aviation authorities to operate to these destinations.
Thai Airways has described the light adjustments in its winter schedule 2015/2016 as part of the company’s transformation plan aimed at reducing losses by reducing operating costs, improving the sales structure and generating revenue. It currently has 50 routes which are operating at a loss and/or have less potential in profitability.
It said the suspension of routes was considered using various criteria such as operating results over the past 10 years, market environment and competition, potential for development and connecting passenger numbers.
The routes which have been suspended have been done so on a temporary basis, with the company to review these again after a period of time under the transformation plan. Thai Airways said once its operations had strengthened and it was more confident of competing well to and from the respective destinations, it would resume the suspended flights.
THAI continues to serve its European destinations, issuing a statement that it operates under the high safety standards of the European Aviation Safety Agency. The statement followed a red flag given Thailand by the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) in June 2015 over significant safety concerns within the country’s aviation sector.
Charamporn Jotikasthira, president of Thai Airways International, said the European Commission’s EU Air Safety List updated on 25 June 2015 did not include the Thai airline and as such it would continue to operate regularly scheduled flights to Europe.
THAI operates flights from Bangkok to Copenhagen, Frankfurt, Brussels, Munich, Oslo, Paris, Stockholm, Zurich, Rome and Milan on either a direct or one stop basis. In the United Kingdom, it flies direct to London Heathrow and recently introduced Airbus A380 equipment on to this daily route.