THAI Smile launches Mandalay flights

8 Apr 2013

THAI Smile inaugurated a new route from Bangkok to Mandalay last week. The subsidiary of the Thai national airline began the five-times-a-week service to Myanmar’s second biggest city with fares comparable to AirAsia’s, but without the extra charges levied by its rival.

At the press conference held to mark the inauguration of the new service, THAI director Bhudhisarn Varavan said flying a light-premium carrier would ensure passengers knew what they were paying for their flights without the hidden add-on charges of budget carriers. He added that THAI Smile was an additional option for travellers in one of Southeast Asia’s emerging markets.

He also stated that if demand for seats was high on the route then the service might be increased to daily flights for the winter-schedule beginning in October. THAI Smile is utilising 168-seat Airbus A320s for the two-hour flights from Bangkok’s Suvarnabhumi Airport to Mandalay.

Internet access in Mandalay is limited and the airline is relying on travel agency sales to fill flights from Myanmar. Agents are quoting an average of US$250 for a round-trip flight.

THAI Smile recently added a sixth A320 to its fleet which enabled it to start the Mandalay route. Mr Varavan said the airline may also start flying from Bangkok to the new Myanmese capital of Nay Pi Daw in October.

The director said the airline had cut 20 per cent off its fares to effectively compete for passengers flying between Bangkok and Mandalay. THAI Airways International, THAI Smile’s parent company, still flies from Bangkok to Yangon three times a day and says it may increase seating capacity to cope with high demand for the service.

The 1Stop Bangkok transportation guide provides details about the city’s two airports and other options for getting around. 

Tags: Mandalay flights

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