New Delhi. Thai Airways’ subsidiary Thai Smile Airways will connect five Indian cities, including Gaya for the first time, with non-stop flights to Bangkok starting this winter.
Varanasi, Jaipur, Ahmedabad, and Lucknow are the other four cities.
Non-stop flights are gradually starting operations from Bangkok to Gaya and Varanasi from 1 October, Jaipur from 15 November, Ahmedabad from 1 December and Lucknow from 17 December, Thai Smile said in a statement.
South-East Asia is a popular tourist destination for many first-time international travellers from India. Thailand, a largely Buddhist country, also sees traffic to cities like Gaya, Varanasi, which are part of the pilgrim circuit.
The Thai flights, using Airbus A320 planes with 12 premium economy seats and 154 in economy class, will cut travel time.
“Thai Smile Airways understands the immense need for passengers travelling among these 5 cities. A journey which can be covered in less than 4 hours can take up to 8 – 10 hours. We wish to make it more comfortable and affordable to Indian passengers,” said Captain Woranate Laprabang, acting chief executive officer, Thai Smile Airways.
Thai Smile has a fleet of 20 aircraft and operates from Suvarnabhumi International Airport and Don Muang International Airport. It connects Chiang Mai, Phuket, Khon Kaen, Chiang Rai, Hat-Yai, Ubolratchathani, Udonthani, Suratthani, Narathiwas and Krabi as well as five international flights to Yangon, Siem Reap, Penang, Changsha, and Chongqing.