NATIONAL flag carrier Thai Airways International (THAI) expects to achieve a cabin factor of around 80 per cent for this quarter and to maintain that level for the rest of the year, Viroj Sirihorachai, THAI vice president for revenue management and commercial services department, said yesterday.
Yesterday, THAI, its wholly owned subsidiary THAI Smile Airways Co Ltd and Nok Airlines signed a code-share deal on a round-trip service from Bangkok’s Don Mueang airport to Mae Hong Son as part of a closer collaboration between companies in the THAI group.
Under this code-share collaboration, Nok Air will operate the flights, while the three airlines will jointly market the tickets for the route.
Nok Air will initially operate three flights a week on the route: on Wednesday, Friday and Sunday. The first flight will take off on March 25.
THAI formed the THAI Group in the middle of last year in order to compete more efficiently in the industry. THAI holds around 29 per cent of Nok Air.
Their airlines’ move to cooperate on the code-sharing arrangement fits in with the government's policy of promoting tourism in the 55 provinces identified as attracting the fewest visitors.
The Cabinet has approved a tax-break measure to stimulate tourism spending in these laggard provinces. The measure, which took effect on January 1, will continue for the rest of the year.
Nok Air chief executive officer Piya Yodmani said that Nok Air already flies to 17 of the government’s targeted 55 provinces, and Mae Hong Son – in the Northern region - would become the 18th such province it serves.
THAI acting president Usanee Sangsingkeo said that the companies in the THAI Group would continue to collaborate more closely in order to cut overall costs and boost passenger numbers as part of a goal to boost revenue.
She said the Thai Group would expand this model of code-sharing collaboration between the three airlines wherever possible.