Nok Air (the Thai word for bird) is a low-cost airline in Thailand operating mostly domestic services out of Bangkok’s Don Mueang International Airport. Thai Airways owns the second-largest stake in the airline.
The airline was established in February 2004 under Sky Asia and started operations on 23 July 2004. It had 130 employees in March 2007 and around 1,400 in 2014. Nok Air began its first international service on 31 May 2007, with daily flights to India.
Nok Air serves the largest number of domestic routes within Thailand (24 routes).
Since its inception, Nok Air has been operating largely independently from Thai Airways. This has led to some friction between the two companies. To gain greater control of Nok Air, Thai Airways has tried to purchase the shares of other shareholders, notably Krung Thai Bank. Although Thai Airways and Krung Thai Bank are both state enterprises under the control of the finance ministry, Krung Thai Bank refused to sell its shares in Nok Air to Thai Airways.
Due to the preparation process to be listed in the Stock Exchange of Thailand (SET), the company name had been changed to «Nok Airlines Company Limited» on 16 January 2006. Then, at its initial entry to Thailand’s stock market, it was renamed «Nok Airlines Public Company Limited» (since 2013) with trading symbol «NOK».
In 2014 Nok Air announced a joint venture with Scoot Airlines (a low-cost subsidiary of Singapore Airlines) to form NokScoot, a low-cost regional airline based out of Don Mueang Airport in Bangkok.
A new company slogan, «Smiling Across Asia» was unveiled in June 2016. It hints at Nok’s strategy of becoming the dominant regional carrier.
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