Thai Airways: Holy flights, dough fritters and home-made bags

6 months ago 293

Published10 hours ago

image copyrightGetty Images

image captionThe Temple of the Emerald Buddha in Bangkok

Thai Airways is getting creative as it looks to raise cash during the travel downturn.

Later this month it will launch special flights that will fly over 99 holy sites in Thailand, building on the "flights to nowhere" craze.

Thai Airways has already found new sources of income including an airline-themed cafe, dough fritters and handbags made from life vests.

But the airline has huge debts which have been mounting during the pandemic.

Many airlines have launched flights to nowhere that take-off and land at the same airport.

Australia's Qantas offered "sightseeing" flights over Antarctica while an airline in Taiwan hosted a flight to no-where on its Hello Kitty-themed plane.

Thai Airways' new flight will not land at any destinations, but will fly over Buddhist temples in 31 provinces before returning to Bangkok.

Passengers will be given a prayer book and special meal, with tickets ranging in price from 5,999 Thai baht (£149) to 9,999 baht for the three-hour trip.

Last month, Singapore Airlines offered diners the opportunity to have lunch on a stationary Airbus A380 parked at the city's main airport.

Despite a price tag of up to US$496 (£380), the first two dates sold out within half-an-hour.

Handbags and fritters

Thai Airways has been particularly innovative during the Covid-19 drop in passenger numbers in order to boost its revenues.

Another way it is looking to raise extra cash is by making handbags out of spare life vests and slide rafts.

Thai Airways' "Re-Life Collection" of limited-edition totes and handbags are so popular they are currently sold out.

image copyrightThai Airways

image captionThai Airways has turned old life vests and slide rafts into the "Re-Life Collection.

The airline industry is facing its worst ever crisis with thousands of job losses and many carriers already out of business.

Thai Airways had already been struggling before the crisis and built up 245bn Thai baht (£8.3bn) worth of debts and liabilities.

Thailand's national carrier has also started selling dough fritters at a number of outlets around the city of Bangkok.

The snack is sold in a set of three pieces with a dipping sauce and an egg custard for 50 Thai baht (£1.25).

The dough fritters bring in about 10m baht in monthly sales and Thai Airways now has plans to franchise the business.

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