Thai Airways has announced that they plan to discontinue their second daily Bangkok to Frankfurt flight (TG922/923), as of December 1, 2014.
What makes me want to slam my forehead against a desk is the route that they’ll be launching with the aircraft they were previously flying to Frankfurt. Thai Airways will be launching four times weekly 747-400 service between Bangkok and Dusseldorf as of December 2, 2014. They used to fly this route up until 1990, so I guess you could say they’re resuming the route, almost 25 years later.
The flight will operate with the following schedule:
TG926 Bangkok to Dusseldorf departing 12:55AM arriving 7:00AM
TG927 Dusseldorf to Bangkok departing at 1:15PM and arriving 5:50AM (+1 day)
There are many things I love about Thai Airways — the amount of award space they release and their first class ground services in Bangkok (from the lounge with semi-private living rooms, to the complimentary hour long massage, to being escorted every step of the way from the moment you arrive) come to mind.
But operationally they are just a hot mess. They’re expecting to lose 20 billion Baht this year (~630 million USD) due largely to poor operating performance.
Unfortunately they’re just so off with their strategy. Thai tourism has weakened, and the reality is that as much as they’d like to think otherwise, they can’t compete with the likes of Singapore Airlines when it comes to luring connecting passengers. They’ve admitted time and again that they lose money on first class and basically keep it for royalty, which makes you wonder whether they’re even trying to run a for-profit business (don’t get me wrong, I love the fact that they have first class, given how easy award space is to come by)
Anyway, while I believe there wasn’t enough demand for two daily Thai flights between Bangkok and Frankfurt, that at least opened them up to lots of connections on Lufthansa. Surely they don’t think that Dusseldorf is the solution?
I’d expect to see tons of award space on this flight, though that’s generally the case on most Thai flights anyway. In the meantime, if they’re serious about not running huge losses, I think they might need to put someone else in charge of their route planning…
Anyone have a different take on this than I do?