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Thai Smile Airways to cease all operations by Year-End 2023

Tuesday, December 5, 2023

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Photo Credit: Thai Smile

By December 31, 2023, Thai Smile (WE, Bangkok Suvarnabhumi) is set to cease operations, marking the conclusion of ‘WE’ coded flights and the Thai Smile brand after an eleven-year run. Thai Airways International (TG, Bangkok Suvarnabhumi), the parent company, will take over the remaining routes starting January 1, gradually assuming assets and aircraft transfer throughout the month, with the entire process anticipated to conclude by January 31.

The announcement of Thai Smile’s closure was officially confirmed by Thai Airways CEO Chai Eamsiri through a press release from the National News Bureau of Thailand. The Thai Smile website will stay active until December 15, with existing reservations transitioning to Thai Airways on the following day. The LCC’s call center will operate until December 31, after which callers will be redirected to the Thai Airways desk. The merger plans were disclosed by Thai Airways earlier in the year.

Thai Smile’s initial fleet of twenty A320-200s, all leased or sub-leased from Thai Airways, has dwindled to fewer than ten, as the parent company systematically reintegrates the aircraft into its own fleet. Concurrently, the LCC has progressively handed over its routes to Thai Airways. This includes the Bangkok Suvarnabhumi – Phuket, Bangkok Suvarnabhumi – Chiang Mai, Bangkok Suvarnabhumi – Gaya, and Bangkok Suvarnabhumi – Udon Thani routes from December 1, and the Bangkok Suvarnabhumi – Krabi and Bangkok Suvarnabhumi – Siem Reap routes, along with all other still-operating Thai Smile services, from January 1, 2024.

Eamsiri stated that the cessation of the LCC’s operations and its integration into Thai Airways represents a strategic move aimed at streamlining operations and enhancing service efficiency within the Thai aviation sector. Thai Airways, now experiencing a financial and operational upswing after navigating through the pandemic and undergoing a court-supervised rehabilitation and restructuring process, anticipates a solid financial standing upon exiting the process next year and plans to relist on the Thai Stock Exchange the following year.

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