Saturday, October 29, 2011

TAA gears up for daily service to India

13 October 2010

Thai AirAsia (TAA) will break new ground in air travel between Thailand and India with the debut of low-cost service in December.

After nearly two years of planning and navigating India's complex approval process, the no-frills airline will launch its long-awaited flights from Bangkok to Kolkata and New Delhi on Dec 1.

Thai AirAsia, the local affiliate of Malaysia-based AirAsia, Asia's largest budget carrier, was granted its desired daily frequency for the Kolkata-bound route but must wait another 60 days to operate a similar seven flights a week between Bangkok and New Delhi.

Indian aviation authorities said Thai AirAsia could operate four flights a week on the Bangkok-New Delhi sector now, but the airline prefers to wait until it can offer daily flights.

The airline has been eager to capitalise on fast-growing demand for air service between the two countries and enlarge its traffic base by focusing more on the "very budget conscious" segment.

Last year, arrivals from India increased by 14.45% to 614,566, ranking fifth in Thailand's foreign visitor tally and bringing in more than 16 billion baht in foreign exchange.

For the first eight months of this year, Indian arrivals jumped 20% year-on-year, underlying the significant growth for this sector of the market, chief executive Tassapon Bijleveld said yesterday, citing official figures.

He said the airline was upbeat about the market response to its first two Indian routes, expecting to see an initial cabin factor of 85-90%.

Thai AirAsia has said it also hopes to launch a third route, Bangkok-Mumbai, also with a daily frequency, sometime in the second half of 2011.

Mr Tassapon said the airline was also studying the potential of adding Chennai and Bangalore to its Indian network but declined to give a timeframe for when any changes may occur.

He said while AirAsia and the long-distance AirAsia X have been flying to India from their Malaysian hub, Indians still need time fully to embrace the low-cost carrier model, which is still unfamiliar to most Indians.

Thai Airways International and four legacy Indian carriers currently operate between Thailand and India.

Bangkok Post

AirAsia named best in Asia

12 October 2010

PETALING JAYA: AirAsia was named the Best Asian low-cost carrier by TTG, Asia Pacific’s leading travel news publisher.

About 48,000 votes were cast in a poll which was held from June to August.

“This award reflects AirAsia’s commitment to excellence and to growing travel and tourism in the region. We have flown 100 million guests in only eight years of operations as a low-cost airline that has made it truly possible for everyone to fly,” said AirAsia chairman Datuk Aziz Bakar.

He received the award at the 21st annual TTG Travel Awards 2010 ceremony in Bangkok.

In a statement yesterday, Aziz said AirAsia would keep serving the region with low fares, an extensive network of destinations, great flight frequencies and friendly service.

The Star