Holy flights, dough fritters and home-made bags

a large building: The Temple of the Emerald Buddha in Bangkok

© Getty Images
The Temple of the Emerald Buddha in Bangkok

Thai Airways is getting creative as it looks to raise cash during the travel downturn.

Later this month it will launch special flights that will fly over 99 holy sites in Thailand, building on the “flights to nowhere” craze.

Thai Airways has already found new sources of income including an airline-themed cafe, dough fritters and handbags made from life vests.

The airline has huge debts which have been mounting during the pandemic.

Many airlines have launched flights to nowhere that take-off and land at the same airport, although Thai Airways has introduced a religious theme.

Its new flight will not land at any destinations, but will fly over Buddhist temples in 31 provinces before returning to Bangkok.

Dubbed the “Thai Magical Flying Experience Campaign”, passengers will be encouraged to recite mantras during the three-hour trip.

Passengers will be given a prayer book and special meal, with tickets ranging in price from 5,999 Thai baht (£149) to 9,999 baht.

Handbags and fritters

Thai Airways has been particularly innovative during the Covid-19 drop in passenger numbers in order to boost its revenues.

Another way it is looking to raise extra cash is by making handbags out of spare life vests and slide rafts.

Thai Airways’ “Re-Life Collection” of limited-edition totes and handbags are so popular they are currently sold out.

A spokesman said the initiative also helps it meet the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

Thai Airways says it will continue offering more eco-friendly products in the future.

The airline is attempting to restructure 245bn baht (£8.3bn) worth of debts and liabilities, and was struggling before the pandemic struck.

It has also seen huge demand for dough fritters which it sells at a number of outlets around the city of Bangkok.

The snack is sold in a set of three pieces with a dipping sauce and an egg custard for 50 Thai baht (£1.25).

Thai Airways said the dough fritters bring in about 10 million baht in monthly sales and has plans to franchise the business.

Last month, Singapore Airlines offered diners the opportunity to have lunch on a stationary Airbus A380 parked at the city’s main airport.

Despite a price tag of up to US$496 (£380), the first two dates sold out within half-an-hour.

In September, Thai Airways created its own plane-themed restaurant along with opening up its Airbus and Boeing flight simulators to the public.

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