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Thai Air in collaboration with Nok Airways to launch new low-cost budget airline by June 2013. An aviation advisor/consultant has been recruited to conduct a feasibility study which is expected to be complete by the end of July this year, was confirmed today by Thai Airways spokesman contacted. The new premium airline/carrier will be a joint venture between Nok Airways and Star Alliance member which Thai Air owns a 49% stake. The new start-up venture will have a registered capital of $6.4 million (200 million baht). It is expected the new carrier is likely to compete with scoot airlines and SIA within the Asia pacific region. Scoot Airways

Thai Airlines will be the larger majority shareholder, but the number of percentage of shareholders is unconfirmed. Though the destinations of the new low budget airline has not been confirmed as yet, it is understood that it will focus on the regional market in Asia. The airline is expected to help Thai Airways compete against low-cost airlines, such as AirAsia and Scoot, which have been gaining market share.This new low-cost airline will be different compared to Thai Smile and Nok Airways, as Nok Air is a discounted carrier with strength in domestic markets, whereas Thai Smile Airlinesis a light premium carrier with regional services.

The new carrier will be the next subsidiary operated by Thai Airways, following the launch of regional carrier Thai Smile on 7 July 2013 with two daily services on the Macau-Bangkok route. The flag airline had earlier tried to compete against budget carriers in the market through a proposed joint venture with SIA Tiger Airways. The Thai government and aviation body did not give the green light for the Bangkok based joint collaboration. Former president of Thai Air Piyasvasti Amranand also told us last month that the airline still needs to get into the low-cost budget market as Nok Airways has not been able to sufficiently help us stop the erosion of the local market.

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