Connect with us

Phuket

Phuket to become AirAsia regional hub

Legacy Phuket Gazette

Published

 on 

Phuket to become AirAsia regional hub | Thaiger

PHUKET CITY: Thai AirAsia will begin direct flight services to Phuket from several new major cities in the region starting by the end of the year, the low-cost carrier has announced.

AirAsia will base five aircraft at Phuket International Airport as part of its plan to establish Phuket as an aviation hub, Thai AirAsia CEO Tassapon Bijleveld told a press conference at the Royal Phuket City Hotel last week.

The cities include Hong Kong, Kuala Lumpur, Jakarta, Bali, Ho Chi Minh City and Chiang Mai.

The first of the new flights will begin in November.

Thai AirAsia expects the project to add an additional one million passengers this year.

Last year, 4.2 million people flew with the airline, 55 percent of which were Asian nationals.

“Some have questioned how we can expect such an increase with the state of the economy, but we have already reserved these planes so we will have to rely on marketing to get more people to travel to Thailand,” he said.

“About 85 percent of passengers book through the Internet, 10 percent though our call center and the remainder from other sources,” he said.

Thai AirAsia opened a booking center in Patong in April this year and has plans to open another in Phuket City. There is also a ticket booth at Tesco-Lotus on the bypass road.

Bhuritt Maswongsa, vice president for marketing of the Phuket Tourist Association, said the news was very positive for Phuket, which was recovering well after successfully hosting the Asean Foreign Ministers’ Meeting in July.

The PTA has worked hard for years to establish Phuket as a third regional hub for Southeast Asia after Suvarnabhumi Airport in Bangkok and Changi Airport in Singapore, he said.

The new flights will allow passengers from places like Medan and Surabaya in Indonesia and Brunei to transit through Phuket to catch long-haul flights to destinations in Europe and North America, he said.

The PTA is also pushing Thai Airways International (THAI) to launch a twice-weekly Frankfurt to Phuket route, either directly or via Bangkok, he said.

The national carrier currently offers direct service to Phuket only from Hong Kong, Narita Airport in Japan, and Perth, Australia, he said.

The PTA is also urging THAI to resume direct flights from Singapore.

“They stopped the service a long time ago, claiming they could not operate the route at a profit, but there are currently three other carriers offering a total of nine flights to Phuket from Singapore daily,” he said.

SilkAir offers five flights daily, while Tiger Airways and AirAsia offer two flights each, he said.

Virgin Blue’s launch of direct flights from Perth, Brisbane and Sydney in Australia is another boon to Phuket tourism, he said.

“All incoming flights are full. Phuket is doing better than Pattaya and Chiang Mai, which are still struggling with the number of tourists,” he said.

On the domestic front, Mr Bhuritt said he was trying to convince Thai AirAsia to offer flights from Phuket to Haad Yai.

The last in a long list of carriers who have tried and failed to operate flights between the two cities was Nok Air, which abandoned the route after a six-month trial period in November 2007.

“I have suggested to Mr Tassapon that AirAsia offer Bangkok-Phuket-Haad Yai flights perhaps three times a week. They are considering it,” he said.

— Atchaa Khamlo & Stephen Fein

 

Get more from The Thaiger

📱 Download our app on Android or iOS
👋 Have your say on our Thailand forums
🔔 Subscribe to our daily email newsletter
📺 Subscribe / Join YouTube for daily shows
👍 Like/Follow us on Facebook
🐦 FOLLOW us on Twitter
📷 FOLLOW us on Instagram

image

Join the conversation and have your say on Thailand news published on The Thaiger.

Thaiger Talk is our new Thaiger Community where you can join the discussion on everything happening in Thailand right now.

Please note that articles are not posted to the forum instantly and can take up to 20 min before being visible. Click for more information and the Thaiger Talk Guidelines.

Click to comment

You must be logged in to post a comment Login

Leave a Reply

Archiving articles from the Phuket Gazette circa 1998 - 2017. View the Phuket Gazette online archive and Digital Gazette PDF Prints.

Follow Thaiger by email:

Thailand13 hours ago

Thailand News Today | OnlyFans content creators arrested on pornography charges | September 21

Thailand14 hours ago

Soldier allegedly assaults neighbours following horn honking

Thailand15 hours ago

Border agencies instructed to look out for gun smuggling along Myanmar border

Welcome back to Thailand!

Thaiger is getting behind local businesses for the restart of tourism in Thailand - up to 50% discounts across all advertising packages!

Coronavirus (Covid-19)15 hours ago

Tuesday Covid Update: 10,919 new cases; provincial totals

Thailand16 hours ago

Officials clarify Korat police van stopped at the beach after collecting murder suspect

Crime16 hours ago

OnlyFans content creators arrested by Thai police on pornography charges

image
Join the conversation on the Thaiger Talk forums today!
Thailand16 hours ago

Comments Galore! feat. Golf | Thaiger Bites | September 21

Cambodia17 hours ago

Scientists study bats in Cambodia to find clues about Covid

News18 hours ago

Update: government official that allegedly stole from fund meant for the disabled spent all the money on gambling

Thailand19 hours ago

Morning Top Stories | Reopening of entertainment venues, Manny Pacquiao for president | September 21 |

World19 hours ago

Flight restrictions to the US to ease in November – US government

Thailand20 hours ago

Bangkok re-opening Criteria, Thai Airways keeps Struggling | Good Morning Thailand | Episode 93

Thailand20 hours ago

Government warns that posting pornographic material is illegal following OnlyFans creator being questioned by police

Indonesia20 hours ago

Bali to re-open for international yachts with fully vaccinated crew, passengers

World21 hours ago

British Airways tests first ever net-zero carbon emissions flight

Morning Top Stories Thailand | Police to end protests, Human Trafficking | September 14 | Thaiger
Thailand1 week ago

Morning Top Stories Thailand | Police to end protests, Human Trafficking | September 14

Thailand7 months ago

Thailand News Today | Thai Airways in rehab, All go for Songkran | March 4

Tourism7 months ago

Phuket’s nightlife. Yes, bars and clubs are still open | VIDEO

Phuket7 months ago

Thailand News Today | Covid passport talks, Thai Airways heads to court | March 2

Tourism7 months ago

Phuket Thai food treats you need to try | VIDEO

Thailand7 months ago

Thailand News Today | Bars, pubs and restaurants ‘sort of’ back to normal | Feb 23

Tourism7 months ago

In search of Cat & Dog Cafés in Phuket Town | VIDEO

Thailand8 months ago

Thailand News Today | Gambling crackdown, Seafood market to reopen, Vlogger challenge | Jan 21

Thailand8 months ago

Thailand News Today | Covid testing for visas, Business impact, Vaccine approval | January 19

Thailand8 months ago

Thailand News Today | Weekend Bangkok bombs, Thailand fires, Covid update | January 18

Thailand8 months ago

Thailand News Today | Stray car on runway, Indonesian quake, 300 baht tourist fee | January 15

Thailand8 months ago

Thailand News Today | Governor off respirator, sex-trafficking arrest, condo prices falling | January 14

Thailand8 months ago

Thailand News Today | Chinese vaccine, Thailand ‘drug hub’, Covid update | January 13

Thailand8 months ago

Thailand News Today | Bangkok may ease restrictions, Phuket bar curfew, Vaccine roll out | January 12

Thailand8 months ago

Thailand News Today | Covid latest, Cockfights closed down, Bryde’s Whale beached | January 11

Trending