Thai Airways president Dr Sorajak Kasemsuvan told Business Traveller that his airline’s light premium brand Thai Smile (see story here) will become a separate carrier in 2013. “Over the course of next year, Thai Smile will spin off as a subsidiary, with Thai Airways owning 100 per cent of the shares. But it will fly on its own code,” he said. “We currently have four aircraft in one-class configuration, and two more will be delivered next year. But from the seventh aircraft onwards, we will have a fully two-class configuration.”
Currently, all of Thai Smile’s aircraft are single-aisle A320s with a 3-3 layout, but passengers do have a premium option called Smile Plus, which encompasses the first four rows. Only two seats on each side of every of these rows are sold, leaving the middle seat empty to increase personal space for the passengers. For a review of the aircraft, click here.
Sorajak added that the seventh Thai Smile aircraft is set to be delivered by Q4 of next year. The single-class aircraft will be deployed for domestic flights as well as services to Macau, and the newer two-class ones will be used for regional expansion, especially to Asean destinations and emerging cities in China.