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Thai Airways International Public Company Limited (THAI) is the national flag carrier of Thailand. Formed in 1988, the airline has its corporate headquarters in Vibhavadi Rangsit Road, Chatuchak District, Bangkok, and primarily operates out of Suvarnabhumi Airport.
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THAI is a founding member of the Star Alliance. The airline is the largest shareholder of the low-cost carrier Nok Air with a 49% stake, and it launched a regional carrier under the name Thai Smile in the middle of 2012 using new Airbus A320 aircraft.
From its hub at Suvarnabhumi Airport, THAI flies to 75 destinations in 35 countries, using a fleet of more than 80 aircraft. The airline was once the operator of two of the world's longest nonstop routes between Thailand and Los Angeles and New York, but due to high fuel prices, the withdrawal of aircraft, luggage weight limits, and rising airfares, the airline abandoned all nonstop U.S. services in 2012 indefinitely. As of 2013, services between Bangkok and Los Angeles are served via Incheon Airport near Seoul. THAI's route network is dominated by flights to Europe, East Asia, and South/Southwest Asia, though the airline serves Johannesburg in South Africa and five cities in Oceania. THAI was the first Asia-Pacific airline to serve London Heathrow Airport. Among Asia-Pacific carriers, THAI has one of the largest passenger operations in Europe.
THAI is currently an official sponsor of Football Association of Thailand and Red Bull Racing.
THAI has its origins in 1960 as a joint venture between Scandinavian Airlines System (SAS), which held a 30 percent share of the new company valued at 2 million Baht, and Thailand's domestic carrier, Thai Airways Company. The purpose of the joint venture was to create an international wing for the domestic carrier Thai Airways Company. SAS also provided operational, managerial, and marketing expertise, with training assistance aimed at building a fully independent national airlin.