Really Cool Airlines, a newcomer in Thailand’s aviation industry, is set to start flying soon after it gets an air operator certificate from the Civil Aviation Authority of Thailand in December, its chief executive Patee Sarasin said on Friday.
He said that the new airline had earlier obtained an air operating licence from the agency.
According to the CEO, the Bangkok-based airline will be marketed as a full-service “lifestyle carrier”, aiming to offer a unique experience to passengers between luxury and budget carriers, under the slogan “We Fly the Future”.
Initially, Really Cool Airlines will operate with three leased Airbus A330 aircraft with a capacity of over 300 passengers each.
With an investment of over 1 billion baht, the airline aims at inbound passengers, which account for 70% of Thailand’s air travellers, Patee said. It will cover regional routes in the initial stage of its operation to such destinations as Singapore, Tokyo, Hong Kong, and Taiwan. Later, in 2025, it will start flying to Europe.
According to the CEO, Really Cool Airlines will focus mainly on international routes to avoid competition with well-established domestic carriers.
The parent company, RC Airlines Co Ltd, was founded in March this year with a registered capital of 200 million baht. Patee is the company’s founder and director while the other directors are his friends from other industries.
Patee, 60, is a former CEO of Thai budget carrier Nok Air, from which he quit in 2017 to set up a travel platform company called “Really Cool”.
He still sees challenges for the airline industry, which was badly damaged by the Covid-19 pandemic and is still making a slow recovery to the pre-crisis position. Patee pointed to the lingering armed conflict between Russia and Ukraine as well as the collapse of many commercial banks.
He said his airline was adopting new technologies and innovative ideas to help reduce operating costs and increase passenger comfort and safety.
Thailand’s aviation industry has shrunk in value from 320 billion baht before the pandemic to 130 billion baht last year although there are signs of continued recovery this year.
There are seven major airlines that control the largest market share – the national carrier Thai Airways International, Nok Air, Thai Smile, Thai AirAsia X, Thai Vietjet, Thai Lion Air, and Thai Air Asia.