With demand soaring and seats overbooked between the Thai capital and New Delhi, Thai International Airways is increasing its frequency to 10 flights a week from the summer of 2008, advancing the timeline by six months.
The carrier has applied to India's Director General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) for additional frequencies and, if approved, it will be seeking temporary permission to expedite its case, said the airline's vice president Pridi Boonsue.
"Delhi is a traditional destination for Thai. We have been flying there for 20 years now. We want to step up the frequency," Boonsue told IANS, adding that his airline is also looking at more flights to Mumbai, India's commercial capital.
This apart, the present frequency of four-times-a week to Chennai will also soon be increased to a daily schedule, since the leisure and ethnic market heading to Malaysia is growing, the airline executive said.
Thai also now hopes to tap into its budget carrier Nok Air's slot, which became vacant after it failed in the past to position itself as the favoured carrier for shoppers.
Nok Air, Thai officials said, is suspending its operations to Bangalore for lack of demand for its various innovative schemes. The budget carrier had started daily service between Bangalore and Bangkok in June this year.
Thai hopes to use the slots available as a result of the suspension.
A recent circular issued by India's civil aviation ministry permits all airlines to upgrade their aircraft to any capacity on existing frequency from Dec 1, 2007, to Jan 31, 2008, to address the peak season demand.
But this came too late for international airlines to reroute their aircraft that have already been allocated for the winter schedules, officials said.