Thursday 31 March 2011

THAI-Day, 01 April 2011...celebrating 40 years of flights between Australia and Thailand...still Smooth as silk

222527.jpgOn the eve of THAI's 40th Anniversary of the first flight from Bangkok to Sydney, THAI's General Manager for Australia, Khun Korakot Chatasingha, paid tribute to the long-term THAI staff in Australia and the enduring trade partnerships as a key to the Company's continuing success.

"There is no doubt that the secret to THAI's success on the Australian routes is the people we have employed....many of them have been with us for many years, some of them for over 30 years. That dedication is surely unparalleled in any business let alone in the dynamic aviation industry that has seen so many crises, challengers and constant changes over the years. The strength, reliability and support of our people can't be underestimated" proudly noted Mr Chatasingha.

"Secondly, our enduring partnerships with THAI's key trade partners, is another key factor that we acknowledge and appreciate. In most cases, this support has been unwavering regardless of the international financial climate and industry conditions generally. In return, we will always show our full support to these loyal partners into the future.

From a product perspective, THAI has always maintained a high level of hospitality and service as a point of difference and now, with the vision of our Management, the focus will also be on hardware improvement. The long term plan see new aircraft acquisition, refurbishment of existing equipment to improve customer comfort and convenience and the introduction of the Airbus A380 into the fleet from 2012. We are at the start of an exciting evolution plan for THAI and very fitting that we commence this project at an important milestone in the Company's history...the first intercontinental flight to Australia.

Moving forward we will heavily focus our efforts in the digital media area to keep in touch with our loyal customer base but we plan to maintain our primary focus to support our travel industry partners as the first point of contact, to hold us in good stead for the future".

THAI's History in Australia

On the first of April 1971, THAI's inaugural intercontinental route to Australia was launched with a weekly flight from Bangkok via Singapore to Sydney. A Douglas DC-8-62 aircraft – at the time, the world's most advanced long range jetliner – operated every Friday from Sydney to Bangkok.

In 1979, non-stop flights to Europe were launched thanks to the capacity of Boeing's 747-200 Jumbo Jets.

THAI's second Australian city was established with flights to Melbourne in 1980 – 2 flights a week linked with Sydney and using a Douglas DC-10 aircraft; in 1982 a weekly flight was launched to Brisbane, also linked with Sydney.

THAI's Royal Executive Class was introduced in 1983 to set a new standard in inflight business class service.

Australia's first Jumbo Jet aircraft arrived in 1984 to replace the DC-10 aircraft on the Sydney/Brisbane to Bangkok route and in 1985, a weekly flight to Perth was added with seats leased to Qantas.

In 1993, THAI's premier frequent flyer programme, Royal Orchid Plus, was successfully launched. Australia now has the highest membership outside Thailand.


Over the years, there have been many milestones to celebrate in the steady growth and development of THAI in Australia... these include:

the purchase of THAI's Australian Head Office building in Pitt Street Sydney in 1986;the introduction of Sydney/Phuket flights in co-operation with Lauda Air in 1989;the delivery of THAI's first Boeing 747-400 on the Company's 30th Anniversary in 1990;the successful launch of Royal Orchid Plus (THAI's award-winning frequent flyer programme) in 1993;43 consecutive years profit, a feat unmatched in aviation history;and in celebration of THAI's connection with Nepal, Tashi Tenzing's launched a successful Mt Everest expedition that on 23 May 1997, proudly carried THAI's flag to the summit.

Bangkok's global hub, Suvarnabhumi International Airport, was opened in September 2006, transforming the customer experience for THAI travellers into and through Thailand – and also those of the hundreds of airlines serving one of Asia's most important gateways.

World-class facilities including exclusive check-in areas, immigration channels and award-winning lounges for premium travellers, strengthened THAI's position as the largest carrier in the region.

In 2011, THAI flies 46 times every week from 4 on-line cities in Australia – Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane and Perth – non-stop to Thailand.

There are now 18 flights a week between Sydney and Bangkok; double daily flights to/from Melbourne; daily flights from Brisbane* and 7 flights a week from Perth including 4 non-stop flights* between Perth and Thailand's premier resort island of Phuket. The aircraft on all flights between Australia and Thailand offer the latest in inflight comforts and personal entertainment systems for all passengers. *Commencing 19 April 2011

An Airbus A346 with a 3-class Royal First, Royal Silk (Business) and Economy Class configuration operates to Sydney; Boeing 777 2-class Royal Silk and Economy Class to Brisbane and Melbourne; and Airbus A330 2-class to Perth.

Convenient connections through Bangkok with non-stop flights to 13 major cities in Europe strengthens THAI's network, as does its co-operation with Star Alliance partners, Lufthansa, SWISS, Austrian Airlines and SAS to further extend THAI's reach into Eastern Europe and Scandinavia.

To celebrate THAI's 40th year flying to Australia, a 40-day Fare Sale has been released to the market with deals to Thailand, Asia, Indochina, India and Europe. Book and ticket by 26 Apr, travel by 30 Nov '11.

Premium Fares for travel in Royal First and Royal Silk Class are also available with bonus free stopovers at a choice of deluxe hotels in Bangkok.

A Phuket Fare promotion is also in place to stimulate business during the promotional '2 for 1' season and also focus Perth's 4 x non-stop weekly services to Phuket. Book/ticket by 31 May, travel by 30 Sep '11.

A special redemption will be released for THAI's Royal Orchid Plus members during April and May and bonus mileage points will also be on offer.

Consumer and trade news will commemorate the event and celebrations for staff and industry partners are also planned.

Passengers travelling on 'THAI-Day' will join the celebrations with specially catered birthday cakes.

For more information about THAI's 40th Anniversary Sale, contact travel agents or THAI on 1300 651 960 or log on to to sign up for THAI's monthly e-news, find THAI on Facebook, follow us on Twitter or read the ROP 'Traveller's Tales' Blog.

More about THAI's Company History

In May 2011, Thai Airways International celebrates the 51st anniversary of its foundation as the national airline of the Kingdom of Thailand. During this past 51 years, THAI has projected the flag and prestige of the nation, as a flying ambassador around the world. It has played a vital role in the development of Thailand's dynamic economy, promoting tourism and trade worldwide and making a major contribution to the commercial and social welfare of the nation. It has also helped to establish Bangkok as the leading aviation hub of Southeast Asia.

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