THAI to resume direct flights to Johannesburg on June 2


Thailand’s national flag carrier, Thai Airways International Plc (THAI), on Tuesday announced its plan to resume direct flights to Johannesburg from June 2 onward.

THAI launched its direct flights to Johannesburg, the largest city in South Africa, on October 31, 2006, but later suspended the direct flights in January 2009, stating that the long-haul flights did not meet minimum yield expectations.

According to the airline’s president Dr. Piyasvasti Amranand, the resumption of direct flights to the South African city is a part of the airline’s network expansion to increase connectivity of its intercontinental and regional flights

Dr. Piyasvasti also disclosed that the flag carrier, in addition to serving an increasing number of passengers, also aims to serve the air cargo market on the Bangkok-Johannesburg roundtrip route.
THAI’s executive vice president for commercial, Pruet Boobphakam, meanwhile added that the airline will operate four flights a week between Bangkok and Johannesburg, utilizing Boeing 777-200ER aircraft for the service on the resumed route.

Flight TG703 will leave Bangkok on Monday, Wednesday, Friday and Saturday at 1.15 a.m. and arrive in Johannesburg at about 7.30 a.m. while TG704 will depart Johannesburg at 1.40 p.m. and return to Bangkok at about 5.55 a.m. on the following day.

The airline’s executive vice president said THAI will be offering special fares to promote the re-launch of direct flights to Johannesburg, starting from 21,500 baht for economy class and 80,640 baht for Royal Silk class both exclusive of airport tax and other surcharges.

Moreover, he said, the airline will also offer many Royal Orchid Holidays package tours for the South African destination. For example, the “South African Delight” package tour, for 8 days and 7 nights, will take passengers to Johannesburg and South African tourist sights such as Sun City, Pretoria, Cape Town, and the Cape of Good Hope while some passengers may opt for the “Game Drive,” which includes a safari tour and is highly popular amongst tourists traveling to Africa.