Taiwanese low-cost carrier V Air has begun operating its maiden commercial service, from Taiwan’s capital Taipei to Thailand’s capital Bangkok. V Air is a new, low-cost subsidiary of established Taiwanese carrier TransAsia Airways.

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The new light-premium regional sub-brand of Thai Airways International, Thai Smile, took delivery of its first aircraft, an Airbus A320, on Friday, June 28 in Hamburg. The delivery sees the Thai Airways International group become a new operator of the A320 family.

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Under the deal, Helsinki-based Finnair is placing its ‘AY’ flight code on Bangkok Airways’ flights linking Bangkok with Koh Samui, Phuket and Chiang Mai, as well as on Bangkok Airways’ Singapore-Koh Samui and Hong Kong-Koh Samui services.

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Switzerland-based Mövenpick Hotels & Resorts is planning to open new properties in Bangkok, Chiang Mai and Koh Samui in the next three years and to operate five hotels in Thailand by 2014.

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More than 200,000 visitors are expected to attend a festival in the northern Thai city of Chiang Mai being held to celebrate and honor Thailand’s King Bhumibol Adulyadej (or Rama IX), who is the world’s longest reigning monarch and will be celebrating his 82nd birthday on December 5.

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