Connect with us

Bangkok

Up in the air: Bangkok Airways flies to Hat Yai

Legacy Phuket Gazette

Published 

 on 

PHUKET: Bangkok Airways will launch a new service between Phuket International Airport (HKT) and Hat Yai International Airport (HDY) starting in late October.

Tasara Taksinapan, the carrier’s media relations manager, recently confirmed the new route with the Gazette’s ‘Up in the Air’, but said that the carrier had yet to issue an official press statement about the service, which will start on October 25.

The flights, which will take to the skies on Monday, Wednesday, Friday and Saturday mornings, will be aboard a 70-seat ATR turboprop. They will depart from Phuket at 7:30am and land in Hat Yai at 8:30. The return leg departs HDY at 9:10am with scheduled arrival at HKT at 10:15.

One-way fares for the flights are 1,890 baht, all inclusive, Mr Tasara confirmed.

“We believe there is very high potential and demand for these flights and we really want to further penetrate the southern market,” Mr Tasara said.

Driving from Phuket to Hat Yai takes a minimum of six hours, even under ideal driving conditions, he noted.

With the lack of flights, so-called VIP bus services linking the two cities are the transport mode of choice for many commuters, at a one-way cost of about 1,000 baht.

Minivans and regular buses also offer the service, at lower prices.

While there has been vast expansion in aviation routes in the region in recent years, the lack of flights linking southern Thailand’s two busiest international airports has been a major ‘missing link’.

Currently, businessmen and others wanting to fly between the two commercial centers have to fly all the way north to Bangkok, then catch another connecting flight due south.

The last airline to try connecting Phuket with Hat Yai was Phuket-based Happy Air, which in late 2009 connected the airports with a ‘triangle route’ that also served Langkawi Island in Malaysia.

The now-defunct airline used a 34-seat, twin-engine turboprop SAAB 340 A. However, Happy Air quietly dropped the flight, citing insufficient load factor, and then tried a number of other niche routes out of Suvarnabhumi Airport in Bangkok before finally shutting down earlier this year.

Before that, Nok Air tried the route for a period in 2007, but quietly terminated the service in mid-November that year, citing insufficient passenger numbers aboard its 150-seat Boeing 737-400 jet aircraft.

At the time of cancellation, a Nok Air spokesperson said that an airplane of about 70 seats was suitable for the route, but that Nok Air had no plans to buy smaller aircraft to service it.

The last airline to run the route successfully was Phuket Airways, which ceased scheduled operations in 2007 following a series of widely-reported safety incidents on long-haul flights to Europe that ultimately led to its banning by the European Union.

Phuket Air ran the HKT–HDY flight with high load factors for many years, and even weathered the post-tsunami tourism downturn in 2004. But its problems in Europe, as well as increased security concerns following the fatal April 3, 2005 bombing of Hat Yai Airport by Pattani-based separatists led them to focus on a on ‘wet lease-ACMI’ structure.

Phuket Air currently operates under a long-term contract with Saudi Arabian Airlines providing charter services, including Hajj and Umurah religious pilgrimage charters to Saudi Arabia.

— Stephen Fein

 

Want more Thailand news from the Thaiger family?

📱 Download our app on Android or iOS for instant updates on your mobile
📝️ Join the conversation on Thaiger Talk - discuss news & life in our Thailand forums
📧 Subscribe to our daily email newsletter
👍 Like/Follow us on Facebook
🔔 Subscribe to or Join our YouTube channel for daily video updates

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

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

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

Follow Thaiger by email:

Thailand31 mins ago

Illegal cigarette shipment busted, valued at 30 million baht

Thailand2 hours ago

Pair arrested for allegedly stealing prepaid phone cards worth 240 million baht, take home almost 150

Best of3 hours ago

Top 5 Indian Restaurants in Bangkok

Phuket Sandbox July 1st

days
hours
minutes
seconds

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

image
Join the conversation on the Thaiger Talk forums today!
Phuket3 hours ago

A Korean restaurant catches fire at a Phuket shopping centre

Best of4 hours ago

Top 10 Provinces to visit in Thailand

Coronavirus (Covid-19)4 hours ago

Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine approved for emergency use in Thailand

World4 hours ago

1 dead 99 unaccounted for in Florida building collapse

World4 hours ago

Airlines participate in trials of IATA Travel Pass app

Best of4 hours ago

Top 8 Street Foods in Thailand

World4 hours ago

A bed in the sky: Shanghai opens world’s highest luxury hotel

Thailand5 hours ago

GMT Live | Bangkok Covid situation, Klongtoey slums, Sandbox squabbles

Coronavirus (Covid-19)5 hours ago

Covid-19 cluster found at children’s home outside Bangkok

Best of5 hours ago

Top 5 Floating Markets in Bangkok

Phuket6 hours ago

Phuket officials in last-minute scramble to fix sandbox hiccups

Tourism14 hours ago

TAT claims 1,500 travellers arriving in Phuket July 1

Thailand4 months ago

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

Tourism4 months ago

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

Phuket4 months ago

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

Tourism4 months ago

Phuket Thai food treats you need to try | VIDEO

Thailand4 months ago

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

Tourism4 months ago

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

Thailand5 months ago

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

Thailand5 months ago

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

Thailand5 months ago

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

Thailand5 months ago

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

Thailand5 months ago

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

Thailand5 months ago

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

Thailand5 months ago

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

Thailand5 months ago

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

Thailand6 months ago

Thailand News Today | Southern floods, Face mask fines, Thai Air Asia woes | January 8

Trending