Istanbul Flights Resumed
In an effort to attract more tourists, Thai Airways International (THAI) is planning to serve more international destinations during the upcoming high season. One of the significant moves is resuming flights to Istanbul, Turkey, a crucial aviation gateway to Asia, Europe, and Africa. The service was previously discontinued in 1994.
THAI’s CEO, Chai Eamsiri, revealed that the decision came after signing a memorandum of understanding with Turkish Airlines in August. A daily flight to Istanbul, operated by an Airbus A350-900, will begin in December. Flight TG900 will depart Suvarnabhumi Airport at 11:45 pm and arrive in Istanbul at 6:05 am local time.
New Destinations on the Horizon
Chai Eamsiri also announced plans to launch flights to Oslo (Norway), Milan (Italy), Sydney, and Perth (Australia). These services aim to expand THAI’s network and attract more international visitors.
Boost from Visa-Exemption Scheme
The visa-exemption scheme for Chinese citizens, effective until February 29 next year, is expected to boost the cabin load factor by 75% in the fourth quarter for flights originating from China. This surge in bookings will result in an estimated monthly revenue increase of 240 million baht during the visa-free period.
To accommodate the influx of travelers, THAI plans to operate daily flights to Beijing, Shanghai, Guangzhou, Kunming, and Chengdu.
Increased Flights to Japan and Taiwan
In addition to expanding services in China, THAI will also introduce daily flights to Sapporo, Fukuoka, and increase Tokyo services from 21 to 28 flights per week. Charter flights to Sendai will be launched as well. Starting December 1, Taipei will receive twice-daily flights.
Growing Network in Vietnam and Nepal
THAI will operate more flights to Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City in Vietnam from October 29. A new route to Kathmandu, the capital of Nepal, will commence on December 1, further expanding the airline’s reach in Asia.