Wednesday, December 20, 2006

Thai AirAsia sees 75% load on Langkawi route

KUALA LUMPUR: Thai AirAsia Comp Ltd expects a passenger load factor of more than 75% on its new Bangkok-Langkawi route commencing on Jan 6 next year.

The sister company of Bursa Malaysia-listed AirAsia Bhd will serve the Bangkok-Langkawi route thrice a week, with one flight each departing from Bangkok and Langkawi.

Thai AirAsia chief executive officer Tassapon Bijleveld said the airline expected to improve flight frequency from three times a week to daily after three to six months.

Langkawi will be Thai AirAsia’s fourth destination in Malaysia, after Kuala Lumpur, Penang and Kota Kinabalu, and its 10th international destination.

“We have chosen to fly to Langkawi because of the island’s growing tourism appeal, especially for tourists visiting Bangkok. These tourists are always interested in visiting neighbouring destinations and Langkawi is among their favourite destinations,” he told a media briefing yesterday.

Tassapon said Thai AirAsia, which was established in 2004, had flown six million passengers to date.

“We carried three million passengers this year. Next year, we are targeting five to six million passengers and increasing our aircraft to 15,” he added.

Thai AirAsia planned to fly to new destinations such as Vietnam’s Ho Chi Minh City by the first half of next year, Vientiane in Laos, and Kunming and Shenzhen in southern China by the end of next year, Tassapon said.

“Next year, we will have three to four destinations in China. It depends on the approvals,” he added.

The airline has offered 1,000 free seats (exclusive of taxes and other fees) on the Bangkok-Langkawi route to guests who book their tickets online from Dec 12 to 20 for travel between Jan 6 and 31, 2007.

Source : STAR
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