By THE NATION
“We aim to deploy three to four planes from our fleet of 60 to operate direct flights from Suvarnabhumi Airport to provinces like Chiang Mai, Chiang Rai, Phuket, Krabi, Khon Kaen and Udon Thani,” said Tassapol Bijleveld, chief executive officer at Asia Aviation Plc (AAV). “Currently, Thai Vietjet Air is the only budget airline to fly out of Suvarnabhumi, and we see this as a good opportunity, now that the government has eased lockdown measures and allowed domestic flights to continue.
“Also, THAI and Thai Smile’s flights have significantly reduced over the past months, while Bangkok Airways is not our direct competitor as it is not classified as a budget airline and has different target customers,” Tassapol added. “Having Thai AirAsia flying out of Suvarnabhumi will be a good alternative for those who do not want to travel to Don Mueang.”
The CEO added that Thai AirAsia has been gradually increasing the number of aircraft in operation since the lockdown was lifted. “In June, we used 15 aircraft from our fleet of 60, while in July we have 20 aircraft flying to domestic destinations. However, the frequency of flights is not that high due to Covid-19, and the company will continue operating at a loss until foreign tourists are allowed to enter Thailand.”
Thai AirAsia operates 25 domestic flights out of Don Mueang Airport and is planning to lure more customers by offering flights for as little as Bt890 from July 12 for departure between August 2020 and March 2021.