Five new Thai airlines to start flying next year
Thai nationals are launching five new airlines with a total investment of at least 3.85 billion baht, expecting to start commercial operations in 2024, eyeing a piece of Thailand’s growing aviation market which is estimated to reach 320 billion baht in value next year.
According to the Civil Aviation Authority of Thailand (CAAT), the five new airlines that have been granted the Air Operating Licence (AOL) are: Really Cool Airlines, P80 Air, Pattaya Airways, Siam Seaplane and Landarch Airlines.
These airlines will have to wait for the CAAT to approve their Air Operator Certificate (AOC) before they can fly commercially in Thailand.
Patee Sarasin, chief executive officer of Really Cool Airlines, said that the airline expected to receive an AOC in January next year and start flying from the second quarter.
He said that in the first two years of operation, Really Cool Airlines would focus on Asian routes such as Japan, Hong Kong, Singapore, and Shanghai with four Airbus A330-300 aircrafts.
With an initial crew of 130, the company will test the market with chartered flights during March to May next year, then switch to regular flights and later expand to European markets.
“We would not compete with Thai Airways International on their regular routes but would focus on flights to secondary cities, which would also help further promote Thailand’s tourism industry,” he said.
Patee added that Really Cool would also be the world first’s airline that delivers passenger luggage to their doors. “We are planning to invest some 1 billion baht in products and services under Rally Cool brands, such as Really Cool Taxi, Really Cool Medical, and Really Cool Cargo,” he said.
Meanwhile, P80 Air spokesman Sorakrit Wannala said that the company expected to get its AOC in the next 8-9 months and start commercial operation in the last quarter of next year.
In the first two years of operation, P80 Air would fly mostly to secondary cities in China using four Boeing B737-800 NG aircrafts, he said.
P80 Air is a subsidiary of Thoresen Thai Agencies Pcl, a maritime logistics arm of Mahagitsiri Group. The company reportedly has invested over 2 billion baht in the airline business, of which 500 million baht have been spent in establishing a new airline.
Thossaporn Usanee, president of Pattaya Group, said that Pattaya Airways planned to take to the skies in the fourth quarter of 2024, providing full-scale aviation transport on both domestic and Asean destinations.
Pattaya Airways will use an ATR72 aircraft for cargo delivery in the first three years before adding three more planes to serve the growing demand of cargo delivery from e-commerce operators, he added.
A news source reported that Siam Seaplane was looking to add amphibian planes of the Cessna Caravan 208 model to its fleet to serve high-end customers visiting seaside resorts and ports in Thailand. The airline’s first route will be the famous Ko Lipe in Satun province, where amphibian planes can shorten the commute time to the island to just 30-45 minutes.
Meanwhile, Landarch Airlines will operate short chartered flights between major cities in southern provinces, starting from April 2024, according to a source.
The airline’s centre would be in Hat Yai, Songkhla province, where it would procure five Cessna C208 B, 12-seaters aircraft within the first five years. Landarch Airlines will expand its fleet to 15 aircraft in following years, targeting destinations in other provinces as well.