Turkish Airlines enhances Asia footprint with Thai partnership.

Key Points:

  • Thai Airways and Turkish Airlines formalize intentions to form a partnership with a signed memorandum of understanding.

  • A partnership can potentially boost the airlines' networks; Thai Airways to reveal Bangkok-Istanbul flight details soon.

  • Amidst debt restructuring and post-pandemic challenges, Thai Airways remains resilient, operating around 65 aircraft.

ISTANBUL — On Tuesday, Thai Airways and Turkish Airlines solidified their intent to collaborate on Asia-Europe routes by signing a memorandum of understanding, signaling the potential formation of a joint-venture partnership.

Such airline collaborations usually entail synchronized schedules and a shared revenue model. Prominent airlines like Qantas Airways and Emirates have previously united for Europe-Australia services. However, it's noteworthy that these strategic alliances mandate a nod of approval from competition regulators.

This partnership holds promise for the carriers' ambition to expand their networks. Turkish Airlines has already established its presence in Thailand with twice daily flights to Bangkok. On the other hand, Thai Airways has voiced plans to commence daily services between Bangkok and Istanbul. Details regarding the inception date of this service are set to be unveiled on Wednesday.

Navigating challenging waters, Thailand’s flagship airline is currently under the watchful eye of court-directed debt restructuring. The airline sought bankruptcy protection in 2020, a year marred by the pandemic, which exacerbated the financial woes of a carrier that had already been grappling with losses for over ten years. Displaying resilience in these trying times, Thai Airways operates approximately 65 aircraft, a reduction from its fleet of over 100 prior to the Covid-19 crisis.