10/09/2018: Orient Thai Airlines is Liquidated
History

10/09/2018: Orient Thai Airlines is Liquidated

DALLAS – Today in Aviation History, Orient Thai Airlines (OX) was liquidated in 2018.

The airline was founded in 1995 as Orient Express Airlines, out of the ashes of Cambodian International Airlines. With a fleet of three Boeing 727-200s and a single 737-200, OX was granted rights to serve up to 20 domestic routes from Bangkok’s Don Mueang International (DMK) and Chiang Mai International Airport (CNX).

HS-OMC joined the fleet from Continental Airlines (CO) in 2005. Photo: Seandigger at English Wikipedia Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons

Expansion


OX then purchased several Lockheed L1011-1 Tristar’s to commence charter flights between DMK, CNX, and European destinations. However, these flights failed to materialize. It did, however, launch routes to Hong Kong (HKG), Kuala Lumpur (KUL), Seoul (ICN), and Singapore (SIN).

In December 2003, OX launched a new low-cost domestic subsidiary, One-Two-Go Airlines (OG). Services started using a fleet of McDonnell Douglas MD-82s. A pair of Boeing 757-200s were later added.

OX Boeing 767-300 (HS-BKB). Photo: Alec Wilson from Khon Kaen, ThailandCC BY-SA 2.0, via Wikimedia Commons.

Royal Seal of Approval


OX and OG would become the only Thai airlines to bear the Royal Seal of Thailand, made possible thanks to owner Udom Tantiprasonchai’s close ties with the King of Thailand.

Tragically, on September 16, 2007, OG flight 269 crashed while attempting to land at Phuket International Airport (HKT). Following the crash’s fallout, OX and OG were forced to suspend operations.

The airlines took to the skies again in December 2008, and just under two years later, OX took delivery of its first Boeing 747-400 (HS-STC).

Orient Thai Airlines Boeing 747-400. Photo: G B_NZ – Orient Thai 747-400 HS-STB at TPE, CC BY-SA 2.0

Demise


However, financial woes continued to mount. It slashed its route network and fleet but was again sanctioned by the Civil Aviation Administration of China after violating various regulations.

In late 2017, it briefly suspended operations again but was later re-certified by Thai aviation authorities. But it was not enough. Operations were suspended again in July 2018 as part of a complete restructuring process that failed to turn around the airline’s ailing fortunes.


Featured Image: Boeing 747-300 (HS-UTN) started life with Japan Air Lines in 1984. Photo: Aero Icarus from Zürich, SwitzerlandCC BY-SA 2.0, via Wikimedia Commons.

European Deputy Editor
Writer, aviation fanatic, and Airways European Deputy Editor, Lee is a plant geek and part-time Flight Attendant for a UK-based airline. Based in Liverpool, United Kingdom.

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