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THAI chief speaks of Melbourne and overall plans

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Thai International Airways (THAI) is drawing up a new route plan and will increase the frequency of flights to Melbourne by deploying its Airbus 350-900 XWB on the route “in the fourth quarter of this year”.THAI recently deferred the launch of planned Airbus A350 flights to Melbourne, which had been due to begin earlier this month, on 16 September 2016.

The Bangkok Post quoted THAI president Charamporn Jotikasthira blaming the delay on “additional inspections [of the aircraft] and requirements from Australian authorities”. See: THAI defers launch of A350 flights to Melbourne

Preparing THAI’s new route plan will take about six months from October, Charamporn said.

He told the Bangkok Post that the government-owned airline has finally started returning to profit, paving the way for a phase of adjusting routes, and flights within each route, to suit them better to THAI’s fleet locations.

“Since we returned to the black, we can now resume some routes that we had temporarily terminated when cost cutting was our priority, and also open new routes that will support our network,” he said.

THAI’ newest route, Bangkok-Tehran, begins on 1 October 2016 (this Saturday) with four flights a week and is expected to have immediate load factor of about 80%. THAI expects to have that level of load factor (85%) across its whole route network, on average, by year end.

The airline will resume its Bangkok-Moscow route from 15 December 2016, with four flights a week. It is currently in touch with travel agents in 20 Russian cities. It sees Siberia, in particular, as a market of great potential.

Charaporn said THAI planned to increase flight frequency to Melbourne by using the Airbus 350-900 XWB “in the fourth quarter of this year” – a period which begins this Saturday and extends until 31 December 2016.

He told the paper the route would let THAI use the new plane at its highest efficiency.

“Because it takes about nine hours to fly from Bangkok to Melbourne, it means we can use one aircraft to fly out and back within one day.”

Written by Peter Needham