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Thai Air to operate from Bangalore, Chennai

Amrita Dhar in New Delhi | June 16, 2003 12:51 IST

Thai Airways has been given rights to operate from two new passenger stations in the country Bangalore and Chennai. The airline would start operations on the Chennai-Bangkok sector this winter.

The airline has been given permission to fly 3,050 additional seats per week on the sector, which takes up its total seat capacity to 7,250 per week. Currently, the airline flies 4,200 seats per week from Mumbai, Delhi and Kolkata.

The airline has been given the rights to operate four flights per week from Chennai and another four per week from Bangalore from the summer schedule of 2004.

From the winter schedule of 2004, it can add one flight each from Bangalore and Chennai, official sources said.

The capacity augmentation comes in the wake of extensive bilateral negotiations held last week between Thai government officials, Thai Airways executives and the civil aviation ministry officials.

The additional operations will begin after a new commercial agreement is signed between Thai Airways and Air-India.

As part of the new bilateral agreement, A-I will be able to enhance its code sharing arrangement with Thai Airways.

Currently, code share seats are available to A-I only on the India-Bangkok sector, now it will be available for connecting flights from Bangkok to the US.

A-I has also been given fifth freedom rights from Bangkok to Beijing and Shanghai. The fifth freedom rights allows A-I to lift passengers from Bangkok and fly them to the two destinations in China on the way to India. Currently, though, A-I does not operate any flights to China.

The cap on seats to Tokyo and Singapore from Bangkok for A-I has also been removed as part of the new agreement.

As of now, A-I is allowed to fly only 200 passengers as part of the fifth freedom right to Tokyo and Singapore from Bangkok.

According to sources, Thai Airways had asked for a doubling of capacity on the existing sectors and for rights to operate from Kochi and Hyderabad.

Currently, the airlines operates three flights per week from Kolkata, seven from Delhi and another three from Mumbai.

A-I operates 4 flights per week to Bangkok, while Indian Airlines flies 20 times a week from Kolkata, Chennai, Hyderabad, Delhi, Bangalore and Gaya.

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