Thai Smile, short-haul airline owned by Thai Airways, have suddenly decided to move some point to point flights that are not connecting to Thai’s long-haul flights from BKK to DMK.
Dong Mueang (DMK) used to be the main Bangkok airport before the Suvarnabhumi was opened. The airport (DMK) is mainly used by low cost carriers such as Nok Air (also partly owned by Thai), Thai AirAsia and Thai Lion Air for both domestic and international flights.
There is a good piece about this change on Bangkok Post that you can access here.
Here’s excerpt from the Bangkok Post:
THAI Smile sets itself as a premium low-cost airline by using the THAI brand as a selling point to lure passengers.
Mr Surapol said the relocation will help the airline fill more seats and reduce operational costs, including fuel costs incurred sitting on the crowded tarmac at Suvarnabhumi. Some savings are offset by the 5 million baht price tag of building facilities at Don Mueang.
“Thai Smile has to move because the second construction phase of Suvarnabhumi airport will take at least six years to complete. Don Mueang airport has room to expand and has a better outlook than Suvarnabhumi in the short term,” he added.
Thai Smile will hold talks with Nok Air, which also uses Don Mueang as its base, to avoid redundant routings between the two no-frills carriers, he added.
If you are connecting from an international Thai Airways flight to a Thai Smile flights that is operated out of DMK, the transfer between the airports is time consuming and not advisable. I would rather pay bit more and fly on Bangkok Airways that still operates out from BKK.
Thai Airways strategy has been to move mainline routes that are not performing well to Thai Smile subsidiary, but how this is going to play out with the connecting passengers? Thai says that Thai Smile is continuing to operate on both airports, but moving part of the operations to DMK while keeping rest at BKK must be confusing to passengers.