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Thai Lion Air adds more aircraft to fleet as Thailand plans further re-opening

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PHOTO: Flickr/Ferry Octavian

Thai Lion Air is expanding its fleet as Thailand plans to re-open more parts of the country to international travel. The carrier’s chief executive, Aswin Yangkirativorn, says the expanded fleet, which includes 2 Airbus aircraft and 2 Boeing 737s, will serve international destinations. The airline has already taken delivery of the Airbus aircraft, with the Boeing delivery expected before the end of the year.

According to a Bangkok Post report, the carrier plans to focus on markets in Singapore, Taiwan, India, and Japan. Aswin says that while China would have been an important market for the airline prior to the pandemic, its citizens are not expected to resume international travel until mid-2022.

TLA is calling on the government to confirm a concrete re-opening plan and simplify entry requirements by learning from the sandbox model. Last year, the carrier was one of 7 Thai airlines to request a soft loan of 5 billon baht from the government in order to continue paying employees, but the help was never received.

“Even though airlines haven’t yet received the soft loan, we remain confident that TLA can maintain our business. If Thailand can re-open and more international flights can operate, then the airline and tourism industry will bounce back stronger.”

Meanwhile, the Bangkok Post reports that TLA is optimistic about an uptick in domestic travel, with 2 holidays this month, in addition to the school holidays. The airline currently operates 13 domestic routes and plans to resume the Hat Yai to Udon Thani and U-tapao to Chiang Mai routes before the end of the year. It will also lay on additional flights to serve Chiang Mai, Chiang Rai, and Hat Yai this month.

For more information on how to get into Thailand during the pandemic, CLICK HERE.

SOURCE: Bangkok Post

 

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