THAI and Turkish Airlines enter joint venture

A Thai Airways Boeing 777 turns onto the runway.
Faisal Akram from Dhaka, Bangladesh, CC BY-SA 2.0, via Wikimedia Commons
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On Tuesday the 8th of August, Thai Airways and Turkish Airlines signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the common goal of diving into a joint venture. The two flag carriers are hoping to capitalize on the ever-growing and competitive, Asia-to-Europe traffic, according to the Bangkok Post.

Turkish Airlines CEO Bilal Ekşi, stated: “This agreement represents an important milestone for the cooperation between Turkish Airlines and THAI as it brings together the rich cultural heritage of Türkiye and Thailand.”

“This collaboration will enhance connectivity between the two regions, provide seamless travel experiences, and offer passengers a wider range of destinations and services through both airlines’ networks.”

Chai Eamsiri, THAI CEO, said: “This cooperation would enhance the efficiencies of THAI and Turkish Airlines in terms of connectivity and route network.”

“Our customers will be able to conveniently travel between Thailand and Türkiye as well as on to Europe and other points in Asia, making full use of the extensive networks offered by THAI and Turkish Airlines.”

The MOU details

As stated in the MOU, THAI plans to fly daily flights to Istanbul by year’s end, or December to be exact, according to The equipment and schedule have not yet been released.


Turkish Airlines have been operating in the Thai capital for many years, with the current 2 flights per day on a Boeing 777 and the A330. THAI launching the Bangkok to Istanbul route will help correct the asymmetric traffic flow between the two cities served only by Turkish Airlines. 

The joint venture makes sense as both airlines are members of Star Alliance, with THAI being the first of five founding members. 

A Turkish Airlines Boeing on final approach to land.
BriYYZ from Toronto, Canada, CC BY-SA 2.0 via Wikimedia Commons

Two Strategic Cities 

Istanbul is known to be the world’s most connected airport, alongside Dubai and Doha. Bangkok on the other hand is less connected but is strategically located within Asia, as Bangkok acts as a cross-bridge between Oceania and Europe.

With THAI launching the Bangkok – Istanbul service, this will make the two cities more connected than ever with three flights daily. Passengers originating from Bangkok may fly to Istanbul more conveniently and fly to secondary cities in the Middle East and Europe.

With more flights connecting Bangkok and Istanbul, this makes Europe closer to Bangkok, as many Europeans travel to Thailand for holidays.

Vice-versa, Europeans living in secondary cities in Europe, of which Turkish Airlines flies a lot, can now fly to the Thai capital seamlessly via its gigantic hub in Istanbul.

In addition, with the MOU signed, Europeans or Turkish alike can now fly to Australia via Bangkok using Thai Airways’ award-winning services. 

With the two airlines joining-hand-in-hand, this will promote tourism between Türkiye which has a population of 85 million, and Thailand with 71 million respectively. 

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