Phuket’s Happy Air ready for takeoff

PHUKET CITY: New carrier Happy Air will launch its Phuket to Haad Yai route on October 31, following on November 1 with flights to Langkawi in Malaysia.

Happy Air Marketing Manager Phatcharapon Sontipun said the service will be aboard the carrier’s Swedish-built SAAB 340 A, a 34-seat twin-engine turboprop.

The aircraft is expected to arrive in Phuket on Monday.

The daily flights will depart Phuket at 8am, with the return trip leaving Hat Yai International Airport at 4pm.

Happy Air is wholly-owned by a Phuket investor who has asked that his name not be released to the press, Mr Phatcharapon said.

The Langkawi flights will depart Phuket at 1pm on Mondays, Wednesdays, Saturdays and Sundays, and return at noon the following day, local time.

The carrier will fly the aircraft on a ‘triangle route’, with each leg priced as follows:

Phuket-Haad Yai-Phuket: 2,300 baht one way

Phuket-Langkawi-Phuket: 3,500 baht one-way

Haad Yai-Langkawi-Haad Yai: 2,100 baht one way


Panu Maswongsa, Vice President for Marketing at the Phuket Tourist Association, said the new Haad Yai service was good news for the Phuket tourism industry.

The service would make it easy for people in the northern parts of Malaysia to enjoy short holidays in Phuket.

Expat residents needing to go on ‘visa runs’ to comply with immigration rules will also take advantage of the new services, he said.

Mr Panu said he was told recently by Thai AirAsia CEO Tassapon Bijileveld that Thai AirAsia was considering offering Phuket-Haad Yai service next year as part of its plans to establish Phuket as a second regional air hub in Thailand.

At the moment the PTA is focusing on increasing inbound tourism on a short-haul basis, which he defined as under five hours of flying time.

Developments such as the launch of several new flights from Singapore to Haad Yai will also benefit Phuket, as passengers will be able to make connecting flights, he said.

Somchart Pimthanapoonporn, president of the Haad Yai Hotel Association, on Thursday said several regional carriers planned to operate into Haad Yai in this year’s peak tourism months.

Singapore’s Tiger Airways would inaugurate its thrice weekly Singapore-Haad Yai service on November 3, using Airbus 320 and Airbus 319 aircraft, he said.

An airline from Indonesia is negotiating with Haad Yai authorities to fly the Haad Yai-Medan route.

— Stephen Fein

Phuket News
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