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Thai Airways

Name of the national airline of Thailand, which was established in 1988 but already operated since 1960 under the name Thai Airways Company, Thailand's then domestic carrier in a joint venture with Scandinavian Airlines System (SAS). The carrier's first commercial flight was from Bangkok to Hong Kong and took place on 1 May 1960 using a Douglas DC-6B, which was named Sri Sunthon by King Bhumiphon and appears on a Thai postage stamp issued in 2010 to commemorate the 50th anniversary of this inaugural flight (fig.). During this period, the aircraft of the Thai Airways Company were painted (fig.) with the name Thai International (fig.), which later is changed to just THAI (fig.). Whereas some interpret the Thai Airways' logo to be a graphic representation of a Purple Crown Flower, i.e. the stamen of the Giant Indian Milkweed (fig.), with the petals removed and known in Thai as dok rak, literally 'love flower' (fig.), the logo in fact represents a jampah or champak flower (fig.). The Thai Airways' logo (fig.) was created by Walter Landor Associates and is in use since 1975. It consists of the colours purple, magenta and gold. With the comprehensive rebranding of THAI, launched in April 2005, the existing jampah flower has been retained, but the logo was redefined with a modified palette of vibrant colours, including a darker hue of purple. The trademark logo is used everywhere, from the aircraft and company vehicles, to ticket offices and signage at airports. The trademark colours were chosen to incorporate elements of Thai tradition, with gold referring to the many temples and palaces, and the rich colours of purple and magenta representing Thailand's tropical orchids and lustrous silk, the latter also pointing to the Thai Airways' slogan, i.e. Smooth as Silk. In Thai, the national flag carrier is known as kahn bin thai/garnbin thai (การบินไทย) and in English it is called Thai Airways International (fig.), although it is in speech usually referred to as simply Thai Airways (fig.) and since 2005 as THAI. See also TRAVEL PICTURE, PANORAMA PICTURE, and THEMATIC STREET LIGHT (1) and (2).