Darun Saengchai, director-general of the Department of Aviation, says that several airlines have expressed an interest to open routes from their home countries to Thailand as a result of discussions with 18 partners at the Routes Asia 2018 event in Australia.
The three-day Routes Asia 2018 development forum provides a platform for senior decision makers of leading airlines, airports, tourism authorities and industry influencers from Asia’s air service development community to expand connections and discuss route development opportunities.
Multiple low cost carriers are considering more Thailand routes Given high growth in the Asean region, Australia’s low-cost Jetstar Airways will study routes from Perth to Surat Thani and from Perth to Krabi with the Boeing 787 Dreamliner. “Jetstar has shown interested to fly to the Andaman coast along Krabi province. We also offer the Gulf of Thailand in Surat Thani province. The airline has been very interested in these options and has asked to study tourism information about the eastern seaboard,” Darun said. Malaysia’s Malindo Air will open a new route from Kota Bharu to Surat Thani in June with ATR 75 aircraft. Now, the airline is in the process of requesting for a licence from the Civil Aviation Authority of Thailand (CAAT). Malindo Air has been asked to consider to resuming a Penang-Krabi route, which it used to serve in 2014-2015 The increasing numbers of tourists in the area make this route more appealing now.
Thai AirAsia X has been eyeing a direct flight from Krabi to Incheon in South Korea. The airline has been asked to open a Hua Hin-Chiang Mai route to connect its Kuala LumpurHua Hin route, which will begin service on May 18th. The proposal would encourage more travel to popular destinations in Thailand while at the same time reducing passenger traffic at both Suvarnabhumi and Don Mueang. It would mean that both Hua Hin and then Chiang Mai would be within easy reach for tourists arriving from Kuala Lumpur, which in turn would open up both destinations to people travelling not only from Malaysia but also from the likes of Indonesia, Singapore and Australia. As well as flights connecting Hua Hin and Chiang Mai, Air Asia X is also looking at direct flights between Krabi and Incheon in South Korea. Thai VietJet Air plans to open a Bangkok-Krabi route and has been asked to study a Chiang Rai-Phuket route due to passengers’ strong response. Laos’ national airline is keen to use Khon Kaen Airport as its base and is in discussions with the airline’s partner in the province for joint investment and airline registration in Thailand.