Chiang Mai-based Kan Air now operates direct flights from Pattaya (U Tapao Airport) to central and southern destinations in Thailand, including Hua Hin. Meanwhile an agreement has been signed over development of U-Tapao Airport as a 3rd airport serving Bangkok.
The new flight to Hua Hin now operates four times a week to and from U Tapao (20 km south of Pattaya) and is the first service linking the two locations that are on either side of the Gulf of Thailand. The service started on 29th May. The airline also operates three weekly flights to Hat Yai in Songkhla province. The town is a major commercial centre with highway and rail links to nearby Malaysia. A three-weekly service also links U-Tapao (Pattaya) to Surat Thani town.
Surat Thani is the nearest mainland town to the resort island of Samui. There are bus services from Surat Thani airport to the island’s ferry port. The airline uses a 66-seat ATR72-500 to serve all three destinations. The airline has set a one-way fare at THB490 from U Tapao to Hua Hin, including airport taxes and fees. The 50 minute Hua Hin –Pattaya (U-Tapao) flight are on Monday, Wednesday, Friday and Sunday, departing Hua Hin at 2040 (8.40 PM) and arriving 2110 (9.10 PM). Pattaya departures are on the same days at 1940 (7.40 PM).
The Royal Thai Navy and the Ministry of Transport have signed a collaboration agreement to develop U-Tapao Airport into the third commercial airport serving Bangkok. Minister of Transport Prajin Juntong and Navy Commander-in-Chief Kraisorn Chansuvanich have signed an agreement on the development of U-Tapao Airport, in preparation for increased air transport activities in the future. Full commercial service is expected to be available at U-Tapao Airport by 2017.
Under the agreement, the first phase of improvements to the airport will involve a renovation of the existing passenger terminal and the construction of a new terminal. Supporting infrastructures at the airport will also be improved, to allow the airport to accommodate 3 million passengers per year. Highway no. 331 will be expanded to encompass four traffic lanes, and a new motorway will link up to the existing Motorway no. 7 to facilitate road traffic between Don Mueang, Suvarnabhumi and U-Tapao airports.
The 2nd phase of the development, spanning 2018-2020, would see passenger capacity expanded to 5 million persons per year and an increase in commercial activities. For more information, including other Kan Air flights from Hua Hin (Hat Yai and Chiang Mai), see: www.kanairlines.com/web/flight-schedule/