THAI axes Dusseldorf plan

24 Sep 2014 by Clement Huang

Thai Airways International (THAI) will not add Dusseldorf to its network from December as originally reported by Business Traveller Asia-Pacific in August (see here).

News emerged last month that THAI had applied for traffic rights to serve Dusseldorf from Bangkok with four-weekly B747-400 rotations.

Flights were initially uploaded onto several partner airlines’ reward booking pages and online travel agents, but failed to be available for purchase on the airline’s website, as THAI was still in the process of obtaining approval from the German authorities for the route launch.

A source at the airline told Business Traveller Asia-Pacific that THAI has this week decided to put plans for Dusseldorf on ice, but was unable to say why.

The most likely scenario is that the Germans did not approve THAI’s application for traffic rights.

Interestingly, Bangkok was one of the destinations suggested for German flag carrier Lufthansa's new long-haul ‘budget carrier’.  And it so happens that this new venture is likely to set up base at either Dusseldorf or Cologne (a stone’s throw from Dusseldorf).

Another explanation could lie in THAI’s on-going fiscal woes that could have steered the national carrier away from opening a new long-haul service that comes with a heavy implementation price tag.

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Dominic Sebastian Lalk

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