Nok Air to launch Bangkok – Korat route

Low-cost carrier Nok Air plans to connect Don Mueang Airport in Bangkok to northeast Thailand in the coming months with a new direct flight to Nakhon Ratchasima, aka “Korat.”

Chief Executive Officer of Nok Air, Wuttipoom Churankun, said the Bangkok – Korat route should begin after Songkran Festival in April 2023.

The date of the route’s inaugural flight hasn’t yet been set because Nok Air wants to operate the route from the airport’s 1st Royal Thai Air Force (RTAF) Wing – a Thai Air Force base – and is still awaiting permission from the RTAF.

The new route will be the only commercial flight flying in and out of Korat Airport since Nok Air suspended the Chiang Mai – Korat route in September last year just six weeks after its launch.

Nok Air cited that their fleet needed repairs and the airline didn’t have enough aircraft to facilitate all routes. Suspending the Chiang Mai – Korat route made the most sense since some flights only had nine passengers on board and the route was causing the airline losses.

Wuttipoom revealed plans to reinstate the Chiang Mai – Korat route in time for the next tourist High Season because the airline is acquiring six new aircraft this year.

For all other routes at airports around Thailand, Nok Air’s check-in desk closes 45 minutes before departure. However, Wuttipoom said that this rule will not apply to passengers boarding in Korat as there are no other flights departing from the airport, so it is not necessary.

Without having to wait at the airport, passengers can conveniently hop straight on the plane and land on the runway at Don Mueang Airport within the hour.

Wuttipoom said the airline hasn’t yet set prices for tickets on the Bangkok – Korat route but he plans to work with hotels and businesses to make promotions to promote the route and boost tourism.

The future of Nakhon Ratchasima Airport depends on the success of Nok Air’s new route. In the past, several airlines have set up and withdrawn their Korat routes including Thai Airways, Air Andaman, AirAsia, Air Phoenix, Happy Air, Thai Regional Airlines and Kan Air.

Nakhon Ratchasima – 250 kilometres northeast of Bangkok – might not be the top destination on tourists’ agenda but is a vibrant city with a rich history that offers an insight into Isaan culture and way of life.

One of the most popular attractions in Korat is the Khao Yai National Park, which is located about 50 kilometres east of the city. The park is home to a wide range of wildlife, including elephants, tigers, bears, and gibbons, as well as a number of waterfalls, hiking trails and beautiful hotels.

Yesterday, Nok Air launched flights from Bangkok to Hyderabad in India.

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Leah is a translator and news writer for the Thaiger. Leah studied East Asian Religions and Thai Studies at the University of Leeds and Chiang Mai University. Leah covers crime, politics, environment, human rights, entertainment, travel and culture in Thailand and southeast Asia.