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Laos’ flag carrier to fly to Thailand

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November 4, 2008

Laos’ flag carrier to fly to Thailand
Lao Airlines on Monday announced the opening of a new route between Luang Prabang, Laos's once royal capital, and Udon Thani province, reported German news agency DPA.

The announcement of the new route for Lao Airlines, the national carrier, coincided with a one-day visit by Prime Minister Somchai Wongsawat to Vientiane.

The new route will operate twice a week on Friday and Sunday. The fare is $80 dollars one way and $150 dollars round trip, said Radio Laos in a broadcast monitored in Bangkok.

Udon Thani is the closest Thai airport to Vientiane, the Laos capital. It is a major hub for Laos and foreigners living in Laos to catch flights on to Bangkok and abroad. Luang Prabang is the former capital of Laos' royal family and a major tourist destination.

Meanwhile, visiting Thai Prime Minister Somchai Wongsawat on Monday met with his Lao counterpart Bouasone Bouphavanh on several bilateral cooperation projects, reported Thai News Agency.

It was the Thai prime minister's first trip to a fellow Asean member country since he assumed office in September.

During his meeting with Laotian President Choumaly Sayasone, Somchai officially handed over to the Lao government the  3.5-kilometre Wattay 2 Drainage Pipe project built at a cost of 160 million baht. Thailand offered 30 percent of the cost as a grant, and the balance in low-interest loans.

The project is aimed at preventing flooding at Wattay airport which serves the Lao capital.

Somchai and his Laotian counterpart discussed improving transportation links among countries in the Mekong River basin as well as energy and economic cooperation.

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