Krabi Airline to debut November 1

BANGKOK (The Nation): Soon to be Thailand’s newest carrier, Krabi Airlines is now being set up and plans to begin flight service to international destinations starting on November 1, just in time for the start of the 2007-2008 high season.

Civil Aviation Department Director General Chaisak Angkasuwan said the airline, with four investors, including former Thai Airways International employee Kosol Vongsrisart, plans to fly to Norway, Germany and Australia by the end of the year.

The carrier intends to add flights to cities in the US and Japan within five years, he added.

K. Chaisak said the establishment of the airline, which takes advantage of Krabi Airport’s upgraded international status, would be completed very soon.

It will be the first fully scheduled airline using Krabi as a base of operations, he said.

At first, the airline will service two international routes: Oslo and Munich.

In the second phase, between this year and 2009, the airline plans to fly to Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane in Australia, and one city in New Zealand.

K. Chaisak said the airline would use two Boeing 777-200ER aircraft in its first year, increasing the number of planes to five within five years and up to 10 by 2013.

The company, targeting tourists from Europe as the main market, expects to run an average cabin load factor of at least 70%, he said.

Over the longer term, starting in 2011 the airline plans to expand its routes to Vancouver, Canada; Los Angeles and San Francisco, California; Tokyo and Osaka in Japan; and Seoul.

Meanwhile, Thailand’s open-sky policy is key to encouraging investors to start an aviation business.

K. Chaisak added that more than 10 airlines were in the process of being established. Each is required to have a minimum 200 million baht in registered capital.

Most are intended to serve Asian markets, he said.

Phuket News
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