Independent Thai operator, Bangkok Airways is to focus its development on North and South East Asia as it continues to grow its fleet and expand its network. The airline is due to add a further six or seven aircraft during 2016, including three ATR 72-600 turboprops and three or four Airbus A319s which will grow its fleet to 36 aircraft.
The airline has already announced numerous new routes for 2016 and additional capacity in some of its existing markets, but is attending Routes Asia in Manila, Philippines to seek alternative growth destinations. This will mainly cover the North and South East Asia markets, which it has earmarked as offering the best opportunities for sustainable development.
“This year, Bangkok Airways will concentrate on countries in South East Asia and North Asia such as Myanmar, Vietnam, Laos and China as we foresee that these countries project notable economic growth and high travel demands,” said Varong Israsena Na Ayudhya, Vice President – Sales, Bangkok Airways.
“South East Asia in particular is one of the most popular destinations for European and Americans who are the majority of our customers and are likely to fly with our codeshare and interline partners to connect with our flight in Bangkok,” he added.
To support this demand the airline is also seeking to boost its brand awareness in other parts of the world to generate feed into its network. This includes markets across Europe, the Americas and Africa and especially countries in South America and Middle America that have projected high spending power. The airline also plans to appoint General Sales Agents (GSA) in countries in the Latin America as well as South Africa and Greece.
This year, among the new services planned by Bangkok Airways are flights between Chiang Mai and Mae Hong Son, Bangkok and Danang and between Samui and Guangzhou. It will also boost the frequency on some of its most popular sectors, namely Bangkok – Phnom Penh (from five to six rotations per day), Bangkok – Chiang Mai (from seven to eight daily), Chiang Mai – Samui (from once to twice daily during high-season) and Samui – Singapore (to two flights per day).
The airline will also increase its number of codeshare partners during 2016, growing from its current total of 20 agreements. “We are in a discussing stage with seven or eight Asia-Pacific airlines that carry high volume of foreign passengers to Thailand, which we believe the new partnerships will increase the number of tourists to Thailand as well as the number of passengers connecting with Bangkok Airways network,” said Puttipong Prasarttong-osoth, President, Bangkok Airways.