By The Nation
Last year saw Thailand’s leading medium–to-long-haul low cost carrier (LCC) boosting its revenue by 44 per cent from the previous year to Bt5.6 billion, carrying 37 per cent more passengers to record 1.1 million, while boosting its cabin factor to 87 per cent, 8 percentage points over the year earlier.
The removal of the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) red flag on Thailand’s aviation over safety concerns in October last year helped reactivate NokScoot’s growth plan, chief executive officer Yodchai Sudhidhanakul said.
That started with the arrival of its fourth Boeing 777-200 wide-body jet towards the end of last year, followed by the inauguration in December of its latest services from Bangkok to Xi’an and the ramp-up of frequencies on its trunk routes to Tianjin, Qingdao and Shenyang, all in China.
“With our enhanced brand awareness, stronger marketing campaigns and increased aircraft utilisation rate, our unit costs are dropping,” Yodchai noted.
“The significantly improved operation has resulted in a better bottom-line last year, making it the best performance record since our inception in 2014,” he added.
NokScoot was able to increase the average aircraft utilisation rate to 11.5 hours last year, up from 9.4 hours the year before.
Yodchai believed that NokScoot now has an operating environment that is conducive to moving full-steam ahead and further improving its financial results.
This year, NokScoot intends to strengthen its all-B777-200 fleet with the addition of at least one more aircraft of that type.
The airline’s inauguration of scheduled services to Japan and South Korea is also due to start this year, pending regulatory approval. NokScoot expects to launch flights to Narita in the second quarter with Osaka and Incheon to follow.