Thailand national carrier Thai Airways International launched on Monday a pay-seat option for its flight while looking at new ways to boost its revenues by playing synergies with airlines for its coming timetable.
Thai Airways International aligns itself with practices from its other fellow carriers by introducing an option for a paid seat selection service to its international flights for both economy class and business class passengers. The option is already offered by some 20 members of Star Alliance, the airline’s grouping to which Thai Airways International belongs. Since Monday, the airline offers to its economy class passengers to book seats offering a larger space for a fee. In parallel, the carrier allows also passengers travelling in Thai’s Royal Silk Class (business class) to buy an upgrade for the First Class. The airline’s management is looking with these options to generate more revenues as the carrier continues to struggle to generate benefits.After tickets have been issued, Economy Class passengers may purchase front row or exit row seats in each zone of Economy Class. Royal Silk Class passengers may purchase First Class seats on flights where preferred seats service is available.
The preferred seats fee varies based on actual flight distance flown. Thai Airways will for example charge US$15 for a seat in economy class from Bangkok to neighbouring countries, US$70 to Australia and New Zealand or US$100 to a European destination. For an upgrade to a first class seat from the business class, Thai Airways International will charge US$150 from Bangkok to Japan, Korea, India or the Middle East; US$200 to the Pacific or Moscow; US$280 for all other destinations in Europe.
According to the airline website, some restrictions are attached to the purchase of the seat or upgrade. The purchase has no effect on passenger’s baggage allowance and the rates are non-refundable and are not compatible with interline agreements.
The carrier is also poised to announce the restructuring of its network. According to an interview of Thai Airways President Sumeth, Damrongchaitham, the carrier will strengthen its international schedule while delegating more domestic and short regional flights to its affiliates Thai Smile, Nok Air as well as to Bangkok Airways. A new schedule will be put in place to strengthen the connectivity at Bangkok Suvarnabhumi airport and help the airline reducing the loss of passengers on domestic and short regional routes by offering a more convenient connectivity. The new schedule is likely to come online for the summer season 2020.