Nok Air to relaunch international flights

19 Aug 2012

Nok Air, the Thai low-cost carrier partly owned by Thai Airways, is planning to restart international flights from early next year, according to a report in the Bangkok Post.

A spokesman for the airline told the newspaper that it would begin by launching flights from Bangkok’s Don Mueang Airport to southern-Chinese cities such as Nanjing, a route which it has already been operating on a charter basis since April this year.

Both tourism and trade between China and Thailand have been increasing steadily over the past few years. On April 17 this year, the two countries agreed to upgrade their bilateral relations to a “comprehensive strategic cooperative partnership” and outlined plans to increase annual trade to US$100 billion by 2015.

The airline said it would consider starting flights between Bangkok and the newly opened-up nation of Myanmar, a route on which several airlines have begun or increased flights recently (see story here). It also stated that it would plan its new routes so as not to compete with Thai Airways’ new “light premium” brand Thai Smile (see story here).

Nok Air suspended its international flights in 2008 after facing financial difficulties. In the past four years, the airline has focused on expanding its domestic routes.

Recently the airline announced increases in frequency on several domestic routes, upping the number of flights between Bangkok Don Mueang and both Mae Sot and Roi Et from 11 to 14 weekly.

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Nicholas Olczak

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