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Nok Air quietly grounds Phuket-Haad Yai route



Nok Air quietly grounds Phuket-Haad Yai route | Thaiger

PHUKET: Nok Air has quietly suspended its loss-ridden Phuket-Haad Yai service, once again making it impossible to fly between Southern Thailand’s two busiest airports, the Gazette has learned.

Nok Air Executive Vice-President for Marketing Sehapan Chumsai told the Gazette today there were not enough passengers to continue the service, which began June 6 last year using 150-seat Boeing 737-400 aircraft.

The service was terminated November 15 after it became clear that the service was not profitable even after the start of the tourism high season, he said.

Flights were typically only half full and the service showed no increase in passenger traffic during its initial six months, convincing the airline to discontinue it, K. Sehapan added.

“About 80% of passengers were local Thais. Even after the start of high season there was no increase in the number of foreign tourists [using the service],” he said.

Rival carrier One-Two-Go did not book any passengers on the flight despite a code-sharing agreement between the two airlines after they were both granted approval to launch the service about the same time last year, K. Sehapan said.

An aircraft of about 70 seats was suitable for the route, but Nok Air has no plans to buy smaller aircraft in order to service the route, he said.

Before Nok Air, Phuket Air serviced the route with a 64-seat Japanese-built NAMC YS-11 turboprop aircraft.


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