Jet Asia Airways Plans Extensive Chinese Network

Thai carrier Jet Asia Airways is set for a major expansion into China as it adds further Boeing 767-200s to its fleet.  The little known carrier, established in 2009, will receive a fourth aircraft this month as it prepares to launch scheduled flights to five destinations across China from the resort island of Phuket from January 2013.

Until now Jet Asia Airways has been mainly operating charter flights and ACMI contracts for other operators.  It inaugurated flights with a single 767-200 in September 2011 with an initial charter between Bangkok and Penang but subsequently expanded its fleet with the introduction of a second jet in November 2011 to further expand its activities.  This capacity enabled the carrier to launch scheduled charter flights between Bangkok and Tokyo Narita from February 2012, but this route closed in September this year.

With the introduction of a third 767-200 in August and the imminent arrival of the fourth example this month, Jet Asia Airways has confirmed plans to add four times weekly scheduled links from Phuket to Beijing, Chongqing, Shenyang and Tianjin and a three times weekly service to Changhsa.

Although this marks the carrier’s expansion into the scheduled market it has previously served China on a charter basis including flights to Chongqing Nanjing, Nanning and Xi’an.  “We are proud to service Beijing with a direct flight to Phuket.  The passenger traffic from China into Thailand has grown nearly 45 per cent year-on-year for the past three years and we are excited to contribute to this growth,” said Captain John Ross, Vice President of Flight Operations, Jet Asia Airways.

Jet Asia Airways also plans to reintroduce its daily scheduled charter flights between Bangkok and Narita in Japan and to launch charter flights into South Korea with links from Bangkok to Seoul Incheon and from Phuket to Busan.  It has further ambitions to expand the network in the future and an additional two 767-200s are tentatively scheduled for acquisition in 2013 with a further to aircraft earmarked for 2014 delivery. 

Jet Asia Airways will be the only Thai carrier offering scheduled non-stop flights into mainland China from Phuket, although there are already a notable number of flights being offered by Chinese operators and to Hong Kong.  This month’s flight schedule is detailed in the table below with 362 departures offering 64,754 one-way seats.  In 2011 an estimated 922,000 O&D passengers travelled between Phuket and China and its territories.

SCHEDULED AIR SERVICES INTO CHINA FROM PHUKET INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT (non-stop departures; December 2012)

Origin

Destination

Airline

Flights

Seats

Phuket (HKT)

Beijing Capital (PEK)

China Airlines (CA)

14

3,157

Hainan Airlines (HU)

13

2,538

Chengdu Shaungliu (CTU)

Sichuan Airlines (3U)

13

2,522

Chongqing Jiangbei (CKG)

Sichuan Airlines (3U)

14

2,016

Guangzhou Baiyun (CAN)

China Southern Airlines (CZ)

13

2,132

Hangzhou (HGH)

China Eastern Airlines (MU)

13

2,054

Hong Kong (HKG)

Thai AirAsia (FD)

31

5,580

Hong Kong Airlines (HX)

31

4,712

Thai Airways International (TG)

31

9,269

Dragonair (KA)

52

8,804

Kunming Changshui (KMG)

China Eastern Airlines (MU)

13

1,742

Shanghai Pu Dong (PVG)

Juneyao Airlines (HO)

38

6,118

Shanghai Airlines (FM)

59

9,676

Taiyuan Wusu (TYN)

China Eastern Airlines (MU)

8

1,360

Wuhan Tianhe (WUH)

China Eastern Airlines (MU)

6

1,020

Xi’an Xianyang (XIY)

China Eastern Airlines (MU)

13

2,054

TOTAL

362

64,754

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