ZKOJH
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Thai Airways’ And Its New Low-cost Subsidiary

Fri Mar 09, 2012 6:35 am

Looks very smart wonder if they make it work?!

Moving into the low-budget sector, Thai Airways’ has announced its new low-cost subsidiary, THAI Smile is expected to take-off from July this year.

With its first flight booked to launch from 1 July 2012,

The carrier’s initial services will include flights from Bangkok Suvarnabhumi to Kaohsiung, Shenzhen, Macau and Surabaya, CAPA reported.

http://www.etravelblackboardasia.com...330/thai-smiles-announces-take-off



Vietnam time..
 
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NZ107
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RE: Thai Airways’ And Its New Low-cost Subsidiary

Fri Mar 09, 2012 7:00 am

Quoting ZKOJH (Thread starter):


Looks very smart wonder if they make it work?!

I don't think it's a smart move to keep the tail which is already on TG. If this ends up being a horrible LCC or just never succeeds, it's going to hurt the whole brand of TG. At least for SQ's sake, Tiger doesn't look anything like Singapore Airlines. I can imagine some passengers would be disappointed if they boarded one of these planes expecting to get good TG service and end up getting none at all.

Let's see how they go.
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TreeHillRavens
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RE: Thai Airways’ And Its New Low-cost Subsidiary

Fri Mar 09, 2012 8:45 am

Quoting NZ107 (Reply 1):
I don't think it's a smart move to keep the tail which is already on TG. If this ends up being a horrible LCC or just never succeeds, it's going to hurt the whole brand of TG. At least for SQ's sake, Tiger doesn't look anything like Singapore Airlines. I can imagine some passengers would be disappointed if they boarded one of these planes expecting to get good TG service and end up getting none at all.

Thai Smile is just a low-cost carrier offering both Business Class and Economy Class cabin. It is not a no frills airline.
 
MCO2BRS
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RE: Thai Airways’ And Its New Low-cost Subsidiary

Fri Mar 09, 2012 12:03 pm

Doesn't TG already have Nok Air as a budget carrier? What would Smile do that Nok does not or cannot be expanded to do?

Cheers,

MCO 2 BRS
 
lawair
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RE: Thai Airways’ And Its New Low-cost Subsidiary

Fri Mar 09, 2012 3:02 pm

Thai Smile is supposed to fill the gap between Nok Air and THAI. The airline is somewhere between low fare and a full service carrier. Initially the airline was supposed to have business class seating but I think that is off the table for now, given the seating configuration that has been announced for the A320s. Unlike Nok Air, Thai Smile is intended to provide connectivity to THAI's main international routes. Nok Air really only flies its own network and point-to-point domestic routes, which is why it chooses to fly from Don Mueang instead of Suvarnabhumi. Thai Smile would likely have to serve Suvarnabhumi.

The airline carries the TG code and will fly to where THAI's A300/330 will be too much capacity. I think they're actually using Thai Smile as a way of differentiating the narrow-bodied regional services from its premium widebody services, rather than confusing the two.

I suspect the setup will be similar to that of Singapore/Silk Air and Cathay/Dragonair. Whether or not it works out, this structure was needed by THAI because a lot of their shorter regional routes were facing increased competition from low fare carriers, with a lot of THAI's domestic network being completely chopped off or sent to Nok Air over the past decade.
 
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huaiwei
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RE: Thai Airways’ And Its New Low-cost Subsidiary

Fri Mar 09, 2012 5:03 pm

Quoting Lawair (Reply 4):
I suspect the setup will be similar to that of Singapore/Silk Air and Cathay/Dragonair.

From the looks of it, no. Both MI and KA are full service regional carriers, and they are certainly not LCCs or "no-frills" in anyway, especially when you consider, for instance, that SQ and MI codeshares on routes like SIN-KUL using aircraft from both airlines and charging the same fare regardless of operating carrier.
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sq_ek_freak
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RE: Thai Airways’ And Its New Low-cost Subsidiary

Fri Mar 09, 2012 6:21 pm

Quoting Lawair (Reply 4):
The airline carries the TG code and will fly to where THAI's A300/330 will be too much capacity. I think they're actually using Thai Smile as a way of differentiating the narrow-bodied regional services from its premium widebody services, rather than confusing the two.

Sounds like a similar set up to SQ/MI, but I agree that like SQ did to protect their brand identity, TG should separate theirs from Thai Smile.

Quoting huaiwei (Reply 5):
Both MI and KA are full service regional carriers, and they are certainly not LCCs or "no-frills"

From my experience, while MI is full service, they are certainly no frills. No audio entertainment, even on the longer 5 hour flights to KTM (they showed "Just for Laughs" but no audio), absolutely dismal catering and mediocre at best crew. In fact I found the crew super condescending towards the Nepalese pax on board. Their price point however is anything but LCC, so on that I agree. A world away from SQ - they were smart not to co-brand.
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lawair
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RE: Thai Airways’ And Its New Low-cost Subsidiary

Fri Mar 09, 2012 6:42 pm

Quoting huaiwei (Reply 5):

From the looks of it, no. Both MI and KA are full service regional carriers, and they are certainly not LCCs or "no-frills" in anyway, especially when you consider, for instance, that SQ and MI codeshares on routes like SIN-KUL using aircraft from both airlines and charging the same fare regardless of operating carrier.

It's unclear whether Thai Smile will really be an LCC or a no-frills carrier as well. The situation seems to have been evolving. TG says that Thai Smile is positioned to be "affordable light premium," though I personally don't know how that is defined. That could still mean "full service regional carrier" in some sense. It's all unclear at the moment.

TG and Thai Smile will overlap on a couple routes, at least initially. Speculatively based on current schedules, TG and Thai Smile will overlap on BKK-CNX and BKK-CGK. I have no idea how the fares will work on these routes however.

One way in which Thai Smile will probably split from the MI/KA models is that Thai Smile may be better equipped than TG to develop secondary Thai markets, like CNX, HKT, etc. to regional destinations. We're seeing that more with what TG wants Thai Smile to do from HKT in the medium term (HKT-SIN/KUL).
 
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huaiwei
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RE: Thai Airways’ And Its New Low-cost Subsidiary

Sat Mar 10, 2012 3:33 pm

Quoting sq_ek_freak (Reply 6):

From my experience, while MI is full service, they are certainly no frills. No audio entertainment, even on the longer 5 hour flights to KTM (they showed "Just for Laughs" but no audio), absolutely dismal catering and mediocre at best crew. In fact I found the crew super condescending towards the Nepalese pax on board. Their price point however is anything but LCC, so on that I agree. A world away from SQ - they were smart not to co-brand.

When we say "no frills" in industry speak, we usually mean absolutely no frills unless you intend to pay for it. We don't label full-service careers as "no frills" just because we think its service is sup par.

Quoting Lawair (Reply 7):
It's unclear whether Thai Smile will really be an LCC or a no-frills carrier as well. The situation seems to have been evolving. TG says that Thai Smile is positioned to be "affordable light premium," though I personally don't know how that is defined. That could still mean "full service regional carrier" in some sense. It's all unclear at the moment.

I believe they have indicated they do intend to fall into that grey area, and will not be entirely full-service or follow the LCC model strictly so as to avoid cannibalising its myriad of subsidiaries. This is quite unlike what MH is currently doing, where their new full service regional airline will be similar to the MI/KA setup.
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