AirAsia eyes direct flights between Hua Hin, Jakarta and Kuala Lumpur

An AirAsia plane at Hua Hin Airport. File photo

Thai AirAsia has revealed its intention to resume direct flights between Hua Hin and Kuala Lumpur, as well as add a new direct flight between Hua Hin and Jakarta.

However, the resumption of flights or opening of new routes will be dependent on whether Thailand eases the entry requirements for foreign tourists, according to Tony Fernandes, CEO of Capital A, formerly AirAsia Group Berhad.

The company also plans to offer a special airfare and ticket package for people flying into Bangkok to watch the upcoming football match between Liverpool and Manchester United, which is due to take place in the Thai capital in July.

Meanwhile, Tassapon Bijleveld, Asia Aviation Public Company Limited (AAV) Executive Chairman, called on the Thai government to simplify the entry process for foreign tourists in order to reduce the cost of travellers.

Mr Tassapon said that at present, the requirement for multiple RT-PCR tests, including prior to departure to Thailand, on arrival, on day 5 of stay and again before departure, result in around 7,500 baht in additional costs for travellers.

This, along with high travel insurance costs was putting people off traveling, Mr Tassapon said.

The news comes after Tony Fernandes was revealed to be part of a group of more than twenty key figures from the tourism industry who proposed to the Thai government to ease the entry requirements for people traveling to Thailand.

Earlier in February, Mr Fernandes reportedly met with Tourism and Sports Minister Pipat Ratchakitprakarn to propose scrapping the Thailand Pass, canceling the day 5 RT-PCR test requirement and reducing the amount of insurance coverage needed to $10,000 from the current $50,000.

Mr Fernandes was speaking at the launch of the airasia Super App.

“I am very excited to be visiting Thailand once again after the travel restrictions caused by COVID-19 these past few years”, Mr Fernandes said.

“I have returned with the purpose of unveiling our airasia Super App, a lifestyle application well suited to consumers in Thailand, as it is one of the markets with the largest and highest growth potential for the travel and lifestyle market in Asean.”