Thai Airways International

Thai Airways International, using the acronym THAI, is Thailand's national carrier. The airline was formed in 1988 but has its roots in a joint venture between Thai Airways company, which was a domestic-only airline in Thailand, and Scandinavian Airline Systems (SAS). SAS worked with Thai Airways to enable its international operations and participated for many years until THAI was able to operate on its own.

THAI Became Government Owned when the Thai government purchased the interest held by SAS. Later, in 1991, THAI sold shares on the Stock Exchange of Thailand (SET). The Thai government retained a major postion of ownership of the carrier.

THAI Has Received Awards over the years and has been regarded as a top class and prestigious airline, although during the early 2000's there was much criticism of the airline's declining quality and even Thailand's prime minister at the time, Thaksin Shinawatra, commented that THAI had become an embarassment. But the airline seems to have made some major strides in quality, including things that aren't so visible yet are major passenger comfort issues such as being the first airline to install hospital grade true HEPA air filters on all flights. The World Health Organization even gave THAI an award.

The Airline Has Struggled financially for much of the 2000's. Local critics have pointed to the standard procedure of letting members of parliament and their entourage fly free. Others have pointed out that Thai Airways has nearly double the staff of other international airlines with similar passenger loads.

One Of The Highlights of THAI is its non-stop flight between Bangkok and Los Angeles, the only airline to offer this. Los Angeles is the city with the highest population of Thai people outside of Thailand and combined with tourists using L.A. as their gateway the flight sees fairly high occupancy rates at a premium price.

Thai Airways Has Invested considerable effort in its image, aiming to distinguish itself as having lovely flight attendants who pamper flyers. Great fanfare is made of decisions about air hostess uniforms and "Smooth as Silk" service. One (unscientific) study claims that THAI has the most beautiful flight attendants of all the world's airlines, this assessment based on the number of YouTube videos made by passengers secretly filming many a Thai stewardess in flight. While that conclusion may not follow from the evidence, the number of videos is quite large.

Much More Information about Thai Airways International, including safety record and fleet details, see the entry at Wikipedia.