Thai Airways International aims to model its new regional carrier after Singapore Airlines' regional subsidiary SilkAir.

To begin operations in the second quarter of 2012, the airline will have full connectivity with Thai's network, said Thai's president Piyasvasti Amranand.

"It will be similar to SilkAir," he said of the regional airline, tentatively named Thai Wing. "It will not operate on an ultra low-cost carrier model. They will likely have only one class and if there is a business class, it will be an European style business class."

Thai is launching the carrier to win back market share in the regional market, said Amranand. Possible destinations for the new airline include Yangon, Vientiane, Ho Chi Minh City and destinations in India, he added.

The carrier will operate 11 narrowbody aircraft, which Thai is set to place an order for soon as part of a 37-aircraft order. The remaining 26 aircraft will be widebodies operated by Thai.

Source: Air Transport Intelligence news