Low-cost carriers keen on Krabi

KRABI: Low-cost carrier Thai AirAsia will launch daily direct flights from Bangkok to Krabi on March 1, while Singaporean low-cost carrier Tiger Airways has announced it will extend its Singapore-Krabi service to run throughout the low season.

Thai AirAsia Public Relations Executive Jaqueline Mercader told the Gazette that the new service, designated FD 3165, will depart Bangkok daily at 5:05 pm with return flight FD 3164 departing Krabi at 6:50 pm. The aircraft used will be a 148-seat Boeing 737.

In April, the airline plans to increase its service to Krabi to two flights daily.

In order to mark the launch of the new Krabi service, Thai AirAsia is offering a three-day-two-night package from Bangkok with accommodation at the SriLanta Krabi Hotel and Resort for 6,999 baht, Ms Mercader added.

The no-frills carrier is also planning to launch Bangkok-Surat Thani routes, though the start date for this has yet to be fixed, she said.

Asked about the Phuket-Haad Yai route, abandoned last October by Phuket Air, she said that there are still no plans to take over the route.

“We know that some passengers are waiting for this service, but at the moment we are very busy and we have other priorities that must come first,” she said.

Addressing questions about the status of Thai AirAsia following the sale of parent company ShinCorp to Temasek Group, an investment wing of the government of Singapore, Ms Mercader said there would be no disruption of domestic routes as a result.

She explained that 50% of Thai AirAsia shares have now been acquired by Sittichai Veerathummnoon, through his company Asia Aviation. An additional 1% of shares are held by Thai national Tassapon Bijleveld, so the company is still 51% Thai-owned, allowing it to fly domestic routes.

In more good news for the Krabi tourism industry, Singapore’s low-cost carrier, Tiger Airways, has announced plans to extend its four-times-weekly direct Singapore-Krabi service to fly throughout the year.

“With Krabi now a year-round destination, we expect visitor numbers to increase substantially this year,” said airline CEO Tony Davis in a press statement. “There are many tourist attractions and marine activities at this beach paradise for visitors that [will] keep them coming back to Krabi.

“We have been getting tremendous support from the Tourism Authority of Thailand as well as the hotel and retail operators in Krabi,” he added.

Phuket News
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