Thai Airways International (THAI) has said it is steering away from the Australian market because competition is too fierce.
The airline said that while they are keen to increase connections to Auckland, dealing with Australia is a “competitive headache”, the Australian reported.
“Australia is not all that profitable for us,” THAI chief executive Piyasyasti Amranand said.
“We have many flights to Australia but I think the problem is the competition...from other airlines.
“This is probably where you really see the impact of Middle Eastern Airlines on our operations.”
Mr Amranand added that its proposed alliance with Tiger Airways could assist the airline improve its operations down under.
If the alliance resolves its current issues with the Thai government, the head said Thai Tiger could be set up as a low-budget carrier within the month.
“Hopefully, it will be in operation sometime in the second quarter of 2011 because (in) the regional market we’re losing out a lot, I think, to the low-cost airlines,” he said.
According to the news source, with only six million on the 65 million people living in Thailand having flown, Thai is also hoping the alliance would attract the untapped market.
"Obviously, the first time they will not be flying Thai Airways, they will be flying low-cost airlines because they need something cheap," Mr Amranand said.