Passenger demand levels worldwide have fallen sharply since the beginning of the ongoing coronavirus pandemic. This has caused airlines to experience huge financial difficulties. However, some have been finding novel ways to try and claw back some of the lost revenue. THAI Airways is one such carrier, having recently launched a range of bags made from repurposed life jackets.
Tough times for THAI
As is the case with many carriers worldwide, the future of THAI Airways is currently a very uncertain one. Most, if not all, airlines have been hit hard by the financial implications of COVID-19, and Thailand’s flag carrier is no exception.
Simple Flying reported last month, for example, that the operator’s Airbus A380 fleet had not seen commercial service for over six months. Furthermore, the airline announced earlier this month that it would be suspending its international operations until 2021. With various financial difficulties on its plate, THAI is consequently looking to solve some of its problems by exploring a different economic area – fashion.
Life jackets repurposed as bags
Using “disposed life vests and slide rafts,” the airline will launch its ‘Life Vest X Lifestyle‘ range of bags tomorrow. The range promotes plastic recycling and sustainability, running under the slogan “Live life to the fullest to make the Earth more livable.”
Life Vest x Lifestyle การบินไทย ลิมิเตท เก๋ๆ เปิดจองให้จองทาง https://t.co/AG8KossYzm 29 ตุลา 14:19 เป็นต้นไป เหมือนจะมี 6 แบบรอส่อง > pic.twitter.com/KlZj6TUsjq
— kvg_0424 (@KvG_0424) October 27, 2020
The bags are available for pre-order from the airline’s online shop from 14:19 on October 29th. Delivery should occur just in time for Christmas, with the expected date being December 20th. THAI hopes to “save the world from climate change” with the range. While this may not be achieved just by selling sustainable bags, it is certainly a responsible position for the airline to take, given the high emission levels of the industry as a whole.
The full range is as follows:
- Life Trekker – Pencil case measuring 10x18x1cm, 390 baht ($12.50).
- Life Roamer – Handbag measuring 22x21x3cm, 1,290 baht ($41).
- Life Organizer – Tote bag measuring 22x35x12cm, 1,290 baht ($41).
- Life Saver – Larger handbag measuring 18x31x11cm, 1,590 baht ($51).
- Life Carrier – Larger tote bag measuring 35x32x8cam, 1,990 baht ($63.50).
- Life Container – Largest, multi-compartment tote bag measuring 45x35x15cm, 4,990 baht ($160).
Other money-spinning ideas
Producing bags using recycled life jackets and slide rafts is not the only idea that THAI has come up with to generate additional income during these challenging times. As Simple Flying reported last month, the airline has also opened a restaurant at its Bangkok headquarters. The establishment has a strong aviation theme, with seats being from grounded aircraft, and tables made out of tires or engines.
Singapore Airlines has also launched a restaurant, utilizing one of its grounded Airbus A380 aircraft at Changi Airport. Here, passengers can dine in several different classes, and the concept has proven incredibly popular. Indeed, the first batch of dates sold out within half an hour!
Whether or not THAI’s ‘Life Vest X Lifestyle’ range will prove to be a commercial success remains to be seen. Nonetheless, it is admirable that the carrier is being creative in its means of revenue generation at a financially difficult time for the airline industry, and the range’s sustainable aspect will also surely be popular among environmentally-conscious fashion enthusiasts.
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