ASEAN KEY DESTINATIONS
Budget airlines sector is up in Thailand
Figures compiled by Airports of Thailand Plc (AoT) showed low-cost carriers (LCCs) passing through airports including Suvarnabhumi surged in the first nine months by 38.49 percent year-on-year to 13.99 million, while total budget flight movements grew 25 percent to 108,123. The volume of budget flights also jumped to 31.2 percent of all flights passing through airports, up from 24.95 percent in the same period last year.
Between October 2009 and September 2010, 50.08 million total passengers passed through Thai airports, down 14.1 percent from the year before.
Combined aircraft traffic also shrank by 12 percent to 346,538, due to Thailand's political unrest and the global economic downturn.
International passenger traffic carried by LCCs in the fiscal year climbed 41.59 percent year-on-year to 4.79 million, while international LCC flights surged 22.28 percent to 35,843. Domestic LCC passengers grew 36.93 percent over the same period last year to 9.2 million with domestic LCC flight volume rising 26.45 percent to 72,280.
Budget airlines were introduced to Thailand in 2003 by One-Two-Go Airlines (now rebranded as Orient Thai Airlines), Thai AirAsia (part of Malaysia's AirAsia) and later Nok Airlines (part of Thai Airways International) and have played an increasing role in the local aviation scene. Passengers are now familiar with limited services for fares 20-30 percent lower than on full-service airlines like Thai Airways.
The growing popularity of budget airlines has prompted conventional airlines including THAI to create Nok Air and more recently to establish Thai Tiger Airways to guard its market share. Foreign no-frills carriers have also been flocking to Thailand. These include Jin Air, a discount subsidiary of Korean Air, which began connecting Seoul with Bangkok.
Letters that do not contain full contact information cannot be published.
Letters become the property of AseanAffairs and may be republished in any format.
They typically run 150 words or less and may be edited
submit your comment in the box below