Thai AirAsia is a popular budget airline that operates between many destinations within Thailand. It is a joint venture of AirAsia, which is a budget Malaysian airline company, and Asia Aviation, a Thai company set up to enable the carrier to meet the Thai ownership laws for companies operating withing Thailand. In addition to its many domestic routes, Thai AirAsia also has some international destinations, including Singapore, Viet Nam, Malaysia, Indonesia, Hong Kong and China.
When The Airline Was Founded it was a joint venture between the owner of AirAsia and the Thai company Shin Corp. Shin Corp was the company formerly owned by former prime minister Thaksin Shinawatra. In 2006 Shin Corp was sold to Singapore's Temasek Holdings which set of a flurry of protests and challenges to Thaksin for a couple of reasons. One was that the former prime minister had manipulated Thailand's tax code to enable him to sell the company in a way that resulted in no taxes being assessed. The furor it caused was largely due to how openly he had manipulated the laws and the timing of the sale which occurred almost immediately after the new tax code had come into effect. Another reason for the uproar, perhaps more purely political than substantial, was the so-called selling of strategic national resources to a foreign country. The objections became a catalyst for mass protests and eventually a military coup that ousted Thaksin as prime minister.
Thai AirAsia Came Under Threat after the sale of Shin Corp due to the failure to meet the requirement for 51% ownership by Thai shareholders. A shell company appeared called Asia Aviation that was Thai owned, and the announcement was made that they would take the 50% of Thai AirAsia that was owned by Shin Corp. Obvious that it was a proxy for Temasek Holdings, it nevertheless allowed Thai AirAsia to continue operating. The airline continued to grow during the world wide financial crisis from 2007 to 2009, although it did lose big on fuel hedging in 2008. With more than 20 Airbus A320 aircraft and agreesive adverstising of specials fares of a mere 99 baht to some destinatons (limited and rarely available of course), Thai AirAsia continues to be a popular choice for domestic travel within Thailand.