Some of the Airbus A320s ordered for Thai Smile could be used to replace widebody aircraft on its parent Thai Airways' regional and domestic networks.
This will allow Thai Airways to reduce its costs and capacity by phasing out its Boeing 737-400s and older Airbus A330s, says Pandit Chanapai, the airline's executive vice-president for commercial.
Thai Smile has four A320s and two more on the way for delivery by February 2013. It has 20 aircraft on order in total.
Speaking on the sidelines of the Association of Asia Pacific Airlines' annual assembly of presidents, he adds that the aircraft will continue to sport the subsidiary's livery. However, the operations of both airlines will be even more closely aligned in order to improve "overall efficiency".
"The plan is to find ways to increase the efficiency across the company. Right now, Thai's costs are too high on some of our domestic and regional routes. By deploying Thai Smile's A320s, we will reduce costs and increase profitability on these services," he adds.
Thai Smile itself will focus on secondary domestic and international points out of Bangkok's Suvarnabhumi airport. It will also offer more international services out to secondary Thai airports such as Phuket and Krabi, catering primarily to the leisure traffic into those destinations.