Posted on: 02 July 2012 by Mark Howells
THAI Smile, described as the “new light premium regional sub-brand” of Thai Airways International (THAI), has taken delivery of its first Airbus A320 in Hamburg, Germany.
Seating 174 passengers in a single-class layout, the aircraft are powered by IAE V2527-A5 engines. The Bangkok-based carrier begins regional operations on 7 July with daily flights to Macau, before flying domestically to Krabi, Chiang Mai, Surat Thani and Phuket. These will be followed by new routes to more international destinations.
"We are delighted to take delivery of our brand new Airbus A320,” remarked Woranate Laprabang, managing director of THAI Smile. “Thanks to the A320’s cabin comfort and operational reliability, THAI Smile will be able to service the market gap between low-cost and full-service airlines.”
The aircraft is the first of 11 A320s which will be delivered by mid-2015. The first six aircraft are being leased from SMBC Aviation Capital, whose CEO, Peter Barrett, commented, “This is our first transaction with THAI Smile, and we look forward to building a close relationship with them in the coming years.”
The remaining five aircraft are directly purchased from Airbus andwill be equipped with new “Sharklet" wing tip devices, which will deliver up to 3.5% in fuel savings.