Thai Airways International

Thai Airways International

Infobox Airline
airline = Thai Airways International

logo_size = 250px
fleet_size = 88 (+49 orders)
destinations = 75
company slogan = Smooth as silk
callsign = THAI
parent = Thai Ministry of Finance [cite web |url= |title=Major Shareholders |publisher=Stock Exchange of Thailand |date=2007-01-10 |accessdate=2007-08-16]
founded = 1957
headquarters = Bangkok, Thailand
key_people = Apinan Sumanaseni (president) Chalit Pookpasuk (chairman)
hubs = Suvarnabhumi Airport
focus_cities = Chiang Mai International Airport
Don Mueang International Airport
Phuket International Airport
frequent_flyer = Royal Orchid Plus
lounge = Royal First Lounge Royal Orchid Spa Royal Silk Lounge Royal Orchid Lounge
alliance = Star Alliance
website =

Thai Airways International Public Company Limited ( _th. การบินไทย) (SET: [ THAI] ) is the national air carrier of Thailand, operating out of Suvarnabhumi Airport, and is a founding member of the Star Alliance network. The airline operates some of the longest non-stop commercial flights, including routes from Bangkok to Los Angeles; the flights will become one stop in October 2008. Skytrax awarded Thai Airways International 'Worlds Best Cabin Staff and The Best Airline in the World' in 2006, while placing second in the 'Airline of the Year' category in 2007. [ [|SINGAPORE AIRLINES wins Airline of the Year title in the 2007 World Airline Awards which were unveiled today by Skytrax] ]


Thai started as Thai Airways International, a joint venture with Scandinavian Airlines System (which initially held a 30% share), along with a domestic carrier, Thai Airways Company ( _th. เดินอากาศไทย). The carrier's first flight was on May 1, 1960. On April 1 1977, the Thai government bought out the remaining 15% of SAS-owned shares.On April 1 1988, the two carriers merged to form the present Thai Airways International. [ [| Thai Airways International Public Information] ]

The arrival of the A340-500 coincided with a change to the airline's image, including a new livery and a revised font for the title "Thai".

On May 1 2005, the airline began a nonstop Bangkok-New York service (TG790/791) with a new A340-500. The New York-bound flight time was 16 hours 55 minutes and Bangkok-bound flight time was 17 hours 10 minutes. Routing from New York/JFK was via Bergen; Oslo; Stockholm; the Baltic States; south of Moscow; Kabul; south of Delhi and on into Bangkok. Routing from Bangkok/BKK was north over Laos and Vietnam; then over China and into Siberia; north to a very short crossing of the Chukchi Sea to near Nome, Alaska; east past Cambridge Bay and the southern end of the Northwest passage; then southeast over Hudson Bay to a point between Ottawa and Montreal and finally over the Adirondacks and the Hudson Valley down into JFK. Citing very high fuel costs, Thai discontinued the JFK service as of July 1, 2008, even though the airline had been able to fill 80% of the seats. [Airlines Curb Long Flights to save on Fuel, Wall Street Journal, July 8, 2008, pp. B1-B2]

Non-stop Bangkok-Los Angeles service (TG794/795) started on December 2 2005, also using a new A340-500. The flight time was 16.5 hours eastbound. This replaced TG774/775 (LAX-KIX-BKK & BKK-KIX-LAX) service using a Boeing 747-400 aircraft and a stop at Kansai International Airport in Osaka. However, Thai will be discontinuing BKK-LAX nonstops on 01 Feb 2009 and will instead restart the old routing of BKK-KIX-LAX from 01 February 2009 forward amid cost-cutting measures. This new routing will use the Boeing 777-200ER, for its lower cost. The new flight numbers assigned to this route are TG797 & TG796 (LAX-KIX-BKK & BKK-KIX-LAX, respectively), and departure times will revert back to the old routing schedule: a midday departure from LAX and an early morning departure from BKK.

Thai Airways has announced that it will sell its entire fleet of four Airbus A340-500 aircraft, even in a weak market.

The airline operates three weekly direct flights on the route BangkokJohannesburg v.v., using A340-600 aircraft from October 2006.



The staff uniforms feature the company's key color, a faint purple. The cabin attendants changing their uniforms during the flight. Thai female cabin crew are fitted with colorful silk dresses. Only at the airport before their duty-boardings, and before landing the aircraft, will the cabin-attendants change into their purple suits. During flights of more than 90 minutes, all cabin crew will wear the Thai silk dresses. No one, who is not a passenger, will ever see the crews in Thai silk dresses, because the crews only wear their purple suits on the ground.


The Thai Airways International fleet consists of the following aircraft as of May 2008: [ [| Thai Airways International Website] November 2007]

*Premium Economy is only available on non-stop flights from Bangkok to Los Angeles.

Don Mueang International Airport]

The average age of the Thai fleet was 10.5 years at December 2007.

Thai has ordered 6 Airbus A380 aircraft, which will be delivered from 2010 for use on services to Frankfurt, Paris and London where frequencies cannot yet be increased.

All Airbus A300-600 will leave the fleet between 2008-2009, Thai will acquire 8 A330-300 as replacement aircraft for delivery between 2008 and 2010.

All Airbus A340-500 will leave the fleet due to the Economic crisis of 2008. [ [| Thai Air to Scale Down Fleet Expansion, Sell Planes] March 2008]

The airline has a plan to retire 47 planes, and buy 65 in 10 years, Thai plan to lease 14 Boeing 787-9, and buy 20 Airbus A321-200. The airline still studies 31 on more Boeing 787s and Airbus A350s.

Because of the delayed Boeing 787-900 program, Thai might not be able to get the planes before 2012. Therefore, they have the second plan to lease more A380-800, A330-300 or Boeing 777s.

Thai has announced that the airline is going to sign a deal with the Airbus company for 2 A350-1000 plus 10 options and expect to get the first two planes in 2016. Fact|date=September 2008

Cabin Services

Thai has four travel classes: Royal First, Royal Silk, Premium Economy and Economy.

Royal First Class

The new Royal First Class was introduced with the arrival of the Airbus A340-600. It offers 8 single flat-beds seats. Thai's retrofitted 12 Boeing 747-400s are also equipped with this B/E Aerospace seat which mostly serves Europe-Australia and some intra-Asian flights. The new seats are equipped with lumbar massage and personal touch screen with AVOD and IFE system. Passenger on Royal First class can pick from 22 different meal choices, which they can pre-order before they fly.

Royal Silk (Business) Class

The new Royal Silk Class was also introduced with the arrival of Airbus A340-600. The new shell, angled lie-flat business class seats are installed on other 12 Boeing 747-400 aircraft, 2 Boeing 777-300 aircraft, all boeing 777-200 aircraft, all Boeing 777-200ER aircraft and all Airbus A340 aircraft. The pitch is 60"-62" between seats and width is 20"-21.5". When fully reclined (electrically adjusted) the seat becomes completely flat, however it is angled. The seat can perform lumbar massage. All seats are equipped with 17"-20" touch screen and AVOD IFE.

There are more choices of main course meal selection in Royal Silk class on international flights, although some may be identical to Economy Class offering. Premium alcoholic drinks are served with a more extensive choices of wine. Cheese is served after lunch and dinner. In addition, Royal Silk Class passengers have a dedicated check-in facility at Bangkok Suvarnabhumi International Airport, dedicated check-in desks at major airports around the world, lounge access, priority boarding, pre-flight champagne, fast track lane for passport control & security-check and priority baggage handling.

Premium Economy Class

The new Premium Economy Class is only available on inter-continental flights between Bangkok(BKK) and Los Angeles(LAX) on Airbus A340-500 aircraft. The fare for Premium Economy Class is slightly higher than those of Economy. Premium Economy seating is configured as 2-3-2 rather than the standard 2-4-2 in Economy. Seat pitch is increased to 42", 135 degree angle of recline and the seat features a leg-rest. Premium Economy class passengers also have more choices over their meal selection. All seats of Premium Economy class are equipped with AVOD and IFE with 10.5" touch screen.

On some long-haul routes such as Bangkokndash Copenhagen, Bangkokndash Stockholm, aircraft with previous generation Business Class seats are usedndash therefore the seats are sold under Premium Economy Class fare.

Economy Class

(HS-TKA and HS-TKB) have individual Audio-Video On Demand (AVOD) In-flight Entertainment (IFE) system with 10.5" touch screen with more than 50 movies to choose and also many varieties of songs, games, and videos. Passengers will be given a choice of Thai or Western meals. Alcoholic beverages are free and served to passengers over the legal age limit.

Royal Orchid Plus

Thai Airways International's Royal Orchid Plus is the first frequent flyer program established in Thailand Fact|date=February 2007. It has a membership of over two million members worldwide.

Earning Miles

There are two types of mile which can be earned towards a Royal Orchid Plus account.

Firstly, "Eligible Qualifying Mile"s (EQM) this type of mile is earned on:
* Thai Airways flights
* TG codeshare flights on routes departing from/to Bangkok (Malaysian Airlines, Emirates Airlines, El Al Israel Airlines and China Eastern Airlines)
* Star Alliance flights
* Jet Airways flights

"Qualifying Mile"s (Q Miles) are the miles flown and additional class of service miles on Thai and Star Alliance airlines. Royal Orchid Plus miles are earned based on the paid class of travel.

Secondly, "Partner Mile"s are earned from non-airline partners, such as hotels.

Status Tiers

There are three tiers in the Royal Orchid Plus program
*Memberndash entry-level status
*Silverndash requires 10,000 Q Miles in one calendar year or 15,000 Q Miles from the date of enrolment up to December 31 of the next complete calendar year
*Goldndash requires 50,000 Q Miles in one calendar year, 80,000 Q Miles from the date of enrolment up to December 31 of the next complete calendar year, or 40 international flown sectors on THAI within any 1 calendar year.

Codeshare agreements

Thai Airways International codeshares with the following airlines:

* Aerosvit Airlines (Bangkok-Kiev)
* Air Canada(SA) (Route to/from Zurich, Frankfurt, London, Tokyo, Hong Kong from/to Canada)
* Air Macau (Bangkok-Macau)
* Air Madagascar (Bangkok-Antananarivo)
* All Nippon Airways(SA) (Domestic flights in Japan between Tokyo, Osaka, Fukuoka, Haneda, Nagoya, Sapporo and flights between Tokyo and USA)
* Air New Zealand(SA) (Domestic flights in New Zealand and flights between New Zealand and Australia)
* Asiana Airlines(SA) (Bangkok-Seoul, Phuket-Seoul, Busan-Seoul)
* Austrian Airlines(SA) (Bangkok-Vienna, Domestic flights in Austria)
* Bangkok Airways (Bangkok-Samui)
* bmi(SA) (Domestic flights in UK & Ireland)
* China Airlines (Bangkok-Kaohsiung)
* Egyptair (SA) (Bangkok-Cairo)
* El Al Israel Airlines (Bangkok-Tel Aviv)
* Emirates Airline (Bangkok-Dubai)
* Gulf Air (Bangkok-Bahrain,Muscat)
* Japan Airlines (Domestic flights in Japan, Bangkok-Osaka/Nagoya)
* Jet Airways (Flights between Bangkok and India)
* Lufthansa(SA) (Domestic flights in Germany, Flights from Frankfurt & Munich to other cities in Europe, Bangkok-Kuala Lumpur/Frankfurt, Flights between Frankfurt and USA & Canada)
* Malaysia Airlines (Kuala Lumpur-Bangkok/Phuket)
* Myanmar Airways International (Bangkok-Yangon)
* Pakistan International Airlines (Flights Between Bangkok and Pakistan)
* PB Air (Bangkok-Danang/Bagan/BuriRam/Lampang/Nan/Nakhon Phanom/RoiEt/Sakhon Nakhon)
* Qatar Airways (Bangkok-Doha)
* Royal Jordanian (Bangkok-Amman)
* Shanghai Airlines(SA) (Domestic flights in China from Shanghai)
* Spanair(SA) (Domestic flights in Spain)
* Swiss International Air Lines(SA) (Bangkok-Zurich, Domestic flights in Switzerland)
* TAP Portugal(SA) (Lisbon-Zurich/Frankfurt)
* United Airlines(SA) (Domestic flights in USA from Los Angeles, London-New York/Chicago, Flights between Japan and USA)

Incidents and accidents

*July 31 1992Flight 311, an Airbus A310-304 hit the side of a hill 23 miles north of Kathmandu while descending towards Tribhuvan International Airport from Bangkok. All 113 on board (99 passengers and 14 crew) died. The accident was caused by technical faults (with flaps and a possible second unknown fault), pilot error and lack of equipment at TIA at the time (no radar). [ [] , [] ]
* December 11 1998Flight 261, an A310-200, bound for Surat Thani from Bangkok, during its third landing attempt in heavy rain, crashed into a rice paddy about 2 miles from Surat Thani airport; 102 of 143 aboard were killed. [ [| Asia Economic News] 14 December 1998]
* March 3 2001 – Flight 114, a Boeing 737-400, bound for Chiang Mai from Bangkok, was destroyed by an explosion of the center wing tank resulting from ignition of the flammable fuel/air mixture in the tank. The source of the ignition energy for the explosion could not be determined with certainty, but the most likely source was an explosion originating at the center wing tank pump as a result of running the pump in the presence of metal shavings and a fuel/air mixture. [] One flight attendant died [] .


ee also

* Nok Air

External links

* [ Official website]
* [ Video demonstration about safety on board]

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