In August 2017 we were able to attend a meeting at the Hua Hin Airport where executives from Air Asia presented their proposal to transform the airport into a mini-hub for international travel.
What was presented was much more than a plan for flights between Hua Hin and Kuala Lumpur and Malaysia, but a proposal to link Hua Hin to many more cities in many other countries.
Based on proposals put forward at the August meeting, this announcement may only be Stage One with projections suggesting that over 40 cities will be linked to Hua Hin by 2022. Skeptics may point to the past failures of carriers to put Hua Hin on the air transport map, with short-lived flights being offered on both the domestic and international scene. However as the largest LCC carrier of passengers in Asia, the airline flies to six other routes to Thailand including Bangkok (80 times weekly), Phuket (35 times weekly), Krabi (21 times weekly), Hat Yai (7 times weekly), Chiang Mai (14 times weekly), and Pattaya (4 times weekly).
Tom Thrussell, Centara’s vice president of brand, marketing and digital, commented: “Those who make short stays to Thailand have been less inclined to visit Hua Hin in the past because the journey time from Bangkok, at either end of a short stay, eats into too much of their break.” This new international link will mark “a turning point for Hua Hin’s tourism fortunes”, says David Barrett, chief executive of Bangkok based Premier Incoming Group Services, making Hua Hin more popular among a younger international crowd. Urging stronger destination marketing efforts for Hua Hin, Barrett added: “Over the past decade, Hua Hin has been promoted as a second-tier destination in Thailand. Hopefully, with AirAsia paving the way with flights, Hua Hin will receive more promotional backing from the Tourism Authority of Thailand and tour operators. “I would like to see greater cooperation between the private and government sectors, coming together to create a clear destination identity for Hua Hin,” he added. “Destination branding is key.”
Commencing: Friday 18th May, every Monday, Wednesday, Friday & Sunday
Flight times: AK830 departs from Kuala Lumpur at
1000 (0900 Thai time), arriving at Hua Hin at 1100; AK831 departs from Hua Hin at 1130; arriving at Kuala Lumpur at 1435 (1335 Thai time). Terminal to terminal flight time – 2 hours
Aircraft: Airbus A 320 – 160 seat capacity
Costs: Under 4,000 THB return.