Thai Smile will completely cease operations on December 31, 2023
Thai Smile, a subsidiary of Thai Airways International, announced that it will cease all operations as of Sunday, December 31, 2023. The company is ending its 11-year history.
The following six domestic routes currently operated by Thai Smile will be transferred to parent company Thai Airways International from January 1, 2024.
・Bangkok ⇔ Hat Yai
・Bangkok ⇔ Krabi
・Bangkok ⇔ Narathiwat
・Bangkok ⇔ Khon Kaen
・Bangkok ⇔ Ubon Ratchathani
・Bangkok ⇔ Chiang Rai
Thai Smile's last flight to depart from Suvarnabhumi Airport will be flight WE46 to Khon Kaen on December 31 at 7:40pm. Also, flight WE268 from Hat Yai is the last scheduled flight to arrive at Suvarnabhumi Airport, arriving at 10:20 p.m.
Passenger Service Charge at six Thai airports to increase by 30 baht from April 2024
From April 2024, passenger service charge will be increased by 30 baht at six Thai airports.
The six airports affected are Suvarnabhumi Airport, Don Mueang Airport, Chiang Mai Airport, Mae Fah Luang Chiang Rai Airport, Hat Yai Airport, and Phuket Airport. Passengers departing from international and domestic flights at airports operated by Airports of Thailand (AOT) are eligible.
International departure fees will increase from 700 baht to 730 baht per person, and domestic flight fees will increase from 100 baht to 130 baht per person.
These airports offer common-use passenger processing, including shared terminal equipment to improve check-in services, shared self-service to provide self- and advanced check-in options, and shared bag drop systems to simplify baggage handling. The common system has been installed at the 6 airports above mentioned. This price increase is due to the introduction of these systems, which aim to improve the quality, safety, and convenience of services to airport users.
Guided tours to the third chamber of Tham Luang Cave in Chiang Rai province are scheduled to begin
Thailand's Department of National Parks, Wildlife and Plant Conservation (DNP) has announced that it will begin guided tours to the Chamber 3 of Tham Luang Cave in Chiang Rai province.
Tham Luang Cave attracted global attention in 2018 when 12 young soccer players and their coach were trapped by floods and rescued 18 days later.
Until now, the Chamber 3, about 2 kilometers from the cave entrance, was only accessible to researchers and experts. This tour, starting December 15, 2023, will take groups of 10 to 12 people to visit Chamber 2 and 3 of the cave and see first-hand the challenges faced during the rescue operation five years ago.
Thai AirAsia launches new Hat Yai-Singapore route
Low-cost airline Thai AirAsia has announced that it will launch a new direct flight between Hat Yai in southern Thailand and Singapore from February 1, 2024.
The flight operates three round trips a week on Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Saturdays, using an Airbus 320 (180 economy seats).
The planned flight schedule is as follows.
Hat Yai ⇔ Singapore (from February 1, 2024)
FD336 HDY10:20 SIN12:55 Tue/Thu/Sat
FD337 SIN13:40 HDY14:10 Tue/Thu/Sat
For details and reservations, please refer to AirAsia's official website.
Chiang Mai route buses scheduled to resume operation from December 18, 2023
Chiang Mai's route bus RTC Chiang Mai City Bus, which was suspended in March 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic, has announced that it will start trial operation from December 11, 2023.
Initially, the R3 system will be operated, connecting Chiang Mai Airport, Nimmanhaemin Road, Old Town, Tha Phae Gate, Warorot Market, and Chiang Mai Gate.
It's planned that from February 2024 onwards, the R1 system (two routes departing from the Zoo and Central) connecting Chiang Mai Zoo, Chiang Mai University, MAYA Shopping Mall, Chang Puak Bus Terminal, Arcade Bus Terminal, Central Festival Chiang Mai, etc. will also begin operating.
In addition, applications are currently underway for permission to operate a total of four new lines, including lines that run north-south or east-west through the old city.