Thai Airways Will Operate More “Special Flights” To Europe & Within Asia Through March 2021

Thai Airways has announced that it will operate a mini schedule of “special flights” to Europe (ARN, CPH, CDG, FRA, LHR) and a range of destinations within Asia on various dates in March to repatriate passengers from these destinations while the international fleet of TG remains grounded.

Thai has also announced that passengers can use existing ticket coupons and credits from previously cancelled flights as well as Royal Orchid Plus miles for these flights.

Advertised flights are valid for tickets FROM Bangkok to the listed destinations. The return flights can not be booked commercially, only through direct link of the Thai Embassies abroad.

The prices for these flights advertised from Bangkok to Europe are rather reasonable in Economy Class, but Business Class pricing is rather ridiculous. The Asia destinations are reasonable in either cabin.

This schedule just popped up on Thai Airways Twitter account and indeed TG is starting to put their fleet up in the air to at least some good use.

You can access the announcement and offer on Thai Airways website here.

THAI Airways adds the following information to this selection:

  • Terms and conditions are vary upon fare selection. Please read ticket terms and condition which will be shown in the booking process.
  • Existing tickets and ROP award ticket can be used on this flight.
  • THAI reserves the right to change fares and conditions without prior notice.
  • THAI is currently offering limited inflight services for special charter and repatriation flights. Please note that inflight entertainment systems and other full services amenities are not available on these flights.

So you end up paying 65,000-90,000 THB one way (US$2,200-3,000) for a flight in Thai Airways “Business Class” without proper inflight service or even an entertainment system. Hard pass!

The one way price for Economy Class is between US$500-600 which is reasonable but Business Class  is steeply above the usual market value on this route. That’s double than what Lufthansa asks for their Bangkok – Frankfurt on an almost daily basis. Lufthansa tickets are available for destinations all over Europe for ~ US$1700 one way. Emirates and Qatar Airways also have good offers.

I wish their pricing for Business Class was a little bit more “based” but at least they allow passengers to use existing tickets and credits from the flights that got cancelled in the past. Royal Orchid Plus mileage bookings are also possible. I wasn’t able to find any availability through other Star Alliance programs.

Thai Airways is still under administration in bankruptcy court and the airline is permanently in the news for all wrong reasons. While there are talks in Thailand of restarting tourism a few months down the road there is no clear path forward for Thai Airways even a year after they shut down most operations.

This slow process represents a significant problem for both the countries tourism sector and of course the airline itself and all employees. Although given the amount of international airlines that are serving Bangkok and Phuket it would be possible to do without THAI for the time being.

Conclusion

Thai Airways has published a new list of what they call “Special Flights” which they operate on a regular basis to repatriate Thai nationals from abroad, mostly organized through the local embassies. As the

Whoever now has to go abroad, either Thai nationals or foreigners can use these TG flights or book another carrier that offers a better service at (likely) a much lower price. At the same time these flights are used to pick up Thai nationals and those other groups of foreigners allowed to return to Thailand  from abroad. Passengers can now return to Thailand on other carriers as well provided they comply with all regulations such as receiving the Certificate of Entry in advance of their flight.

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