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New Airline Alert: Smile for Thai Smile

Where: Thailand
March 15, 2012 at 10:05 AM | by | ()

Alright, Asia is now the unofficial mecca for new airlines. Not only is the region responsible for the majority of new tails showing up in airports around the world, but the continent is home to a significant number of budget carriers. It's all about the new, new, new; new carriers mean new reasons to hop on an airplane with the "new plane smell," heading off to new destinations.

Starting in July, Thailand will be the battleground for LCCs with the incarnation of THAI Smile. The cheerily named airline is a subsidiary of the national premium carrier, Thai Airways and both plan to mix up the aviation industry both domestically and, eventually, international short-haul. We talked about it last year, but now we have lots more info on the baby airline.

The airline is claiming a "light premium," 2-cabin service model. Exactly what does that mean? It is considered a hybrid between the premium flights the parent company offers and the ultra cheap, low-cost airlines, like Nok Air. THAI Smile will offer complimentary meal and drink service, free seat selection and free (basic) checked bags. Best of all, passengers can accrue not only frequent flyer miles with Thai, but with Star Alliance as well. Score!

With a fleet of 11 Airbus A320s, the airline will be bringing smiling passengers from Bangkok to Chiang Mai, Phuket, and, its first destination, Macau. The plans are to fly routes that are 3 to 4 hours into Southeast Asia and India and China by 2013. Eventually, the parent airline will hand over these services entirely to its happy little kid.

With a website that acts more like a blog completely in Thai and a Facebook page with happy fans doing what they do best, smiling, the airline is in full swing for recruitment and a prospected take off by July. Now, all you have to do is book a flight and get a good tooth whitener.

[Photo: THAI Smile]

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