By SUCHAT SRITAM
The Thai unit of Vietnamese low-cost carrier VietJet yesterday launched three routes in Thailand – Bangkok-Chiang Mai, Bangkok-Phuket and Phuket-Chiang Rai.
The services will commence in the middle of this month.
Another international route – Bangkok to Haiphong, Vietnam – is planned to begin operating in November.
The airline already flies to Ho Chi Minh City and Hanoi directly from Bangkok.
VietJet vice president Nguyen Thi Thuy Binh said yesterday that the Thai arm planned to expand its network by linking Thailand with other countries such as Singapore, Malaysia, the Philippines, southern China and Japan.
“Three years ago, Thailand became VietJet’s first international destination.
There are now more than 300 Thai expats working in a variety of positions at VietJet, which is also a driving force for us to further expand our flight network in Thailand,” she said.
As an introductory promotion, the airline is offering a million tickets priced from zero baht until Sunday for all flights in Thailand, all domestic routes in Vietnam and all international routes between Thailand and Vietnam for travel until the end of this year.
On the existing Thailand-Vietnam routes, Thais represent 15 per cent of all passengers. This is expected to climb to 40-50 per cent in the near future.
Tourism Minister Kobkarn Wattanavrangkul said VietJet’s decision to invest in the future of Thai air travel with a dedicated domestic presence was a big market movement. It brings additional capacity to the low-cost flight market in Thailand and provides Thais and global tourists the benefit of greater affordable ticket choices and enhanced convenience.
“We have a commitment to improving relations between Thailand and Vietnam, and so this recent development gives a welcome boost to those efforts in line with the mission of the ‘Two Countries, One Destination’ programme, which has been running since last year,” she said.