Thai Airways International (THAI) is planning to serve more international destinations in the coming high season in an effort to attract more tourists.
The flag carrier is also planning to resume flights to Istanbul in Turkey, which is an important aviation gateway to Asia, Europe and Africa. The service was discontinued back in 1994.
According to CEO Chai Eamsiri, the decision followed the signing of a memorandum of understanding between THAI and Turkish Airlines earlier in August.
THAI will operate a daily flight to Istanbul starting in December. Flight TG900, which will be served by an Airbus A350-900, will depart Suvarnabhumi airport at 11.45pm and arrive in Istanbul at 6.05am local time.
"Next, THAI will launch new flights to Oslo in Norway, Milan in Italy, and Sydney and Perth in Australia," said Mr Chai.
He said the flag carrier's cabin load factor on flights from China is expected to jump by 75% in the fourth quarter because of the visa-exemption scheme for Chinese citizens, which will bring in 240 million baht in revenues per month during the visa-free period.
The visa exemption scheme, which will be in effect until Feb 29 next year, has resulted in a surge of reservations on Chinese travel booking platforms, such as Ctrip and Tuniu.
To accommodate the influx, THAI plans to operate daily flights to Beijing, Shanghai, Guangzhou, Kunming and Chengdu, Mr Chai said.
THAI is also planning to operate daily flights to Sapporo, Fukuoka, increase Tokyo services to 28 per week, up from 21, and launch charter flights to Sendai.
Taipei will also get twice-daily flights beginning on Dec 1.
THAI plans to operate more flights to Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City in Vietnam from Oct 29, while a new route to Kathmandu in Nepal will launch on Dec 1.