Thai Smile, the regional arm of Thai Airways International, is seizing the opportunity of being integrated into the Star Alliance connecting partner membership to fine-tune its strategy.
Thai Smile became officially on February 25 the first airline in Southeast Asia to become a full member of Star Alliance Connecting Partner. While not being a primary member such as Thai Airways International, the airline will benefit of its integration into the world’s largest alliance.
“We are very proud to welcome Thai Smile into our alliance as the first connecting partner based in Southeast Asia. The airline has grown from strength to strength since its inception in 2014. It now flies to over 30 destinations compared to only 11 destinations when it started to operate,” told Jeffrey Goh, CEO of Star Alliance. The arrival of Thai Smile into the airlines’ grouping will help boost connectivity in the region as Thai Smile adds ten new cities to the extensive Star Alliance network.
From now, passengers flying on Thai Smile with a connection with selected members of Star will enjoy the same advantages proposed by Star partners such as through check-in and luggage transfer while elite members of frequent flyers programs will have benefit of priority status as well as access to lounges.
Currently, members of Star Alliance to connect with Thai Smile are Thai Airways International but also all the airlines from the Lufthansa Group (Austrian, Lufthansa and Swiss). It is likely that more airlines will soon connect to the new regional partner.
Thai Smile inception into the alliance will also further consolidate the positioning of the carrier regionally. After a few years of undefined strategy with operations split between Don Mueang and Suvarnabhumi airports in Bangkok, Thai Smile is finally turning into a high-quality network carrier, working in synergies with Thai Airways International.
“ Our focus remains on strengthening Thai’s route network by achieving a higher cost-efficiency and competitiveness thanks to our fleet’s capacity. We can serve routes that Thai Airways International could only operate at a loss with its current aircraft models,” explained Mrs. Charitha Leelayudth, Thai Smile CEO.
The airline will further boost the digitalization of its services to be integrated into Star Alliance digital app but also is looking at opening new routes. “We will continue to expand domestically but also to Vietnam that I consider a market offering high potential,” said Mrs. Leelayudth.