Thai Smile (WE, Bangkok Suvarnabhumi) is set to join Star Alliance's Connecting Partner programme after the alliance's board approved the application during the recent 75th IATA Annual General Meeting in Seoul.

Once all entry requirements are fulfilled, which is expected by the end of the year, the Thai Airways International (TG, Bangkok Suvarnabhumi) subsidiary will become Star Alliance's second Connecting Partner, joining Juneyao Air (HO, Shanghai Hongqiao) that entered in 2017.

“We are delighted that the Star Alliance Chief Executive Board has given the green light for THAI Smile to proceed with our proposal to become a Star Alliance Connecting Partner," Charita Leelayudth, Acting CEO, THAI Smile Airways said in a statement. "This gives us the unique opportunity to contribute to and benefit from the strong alliance network and at the same time pursue our own business model, providing superior air travel experience for the modern travellers at affordable prices.”

The Bangkok-based airline has already begun to implement the necessary technology and commercial links that will allow it to begin serving Star Alliance connecting passengers in 2020. From then on, it will offer select benefits to qualifying Star Alliance Gold Status passengers travelling on connecting itineraries, including Priority Check-in, Thai Smile Lounge Access, and Priority Baggage Delivery.

Thai Smile is a hybrid carrier operating twenty A320-200s on scheduled flights throughout Thailand as well as China, Hong Kong, Taiwan, Laos, Malaysia, India, Myanmar, and Cambodia.