Air Transport World

Marking time; Bangkok Airways exploits tourist niche; may take over Thai International's regional network.


Bangkok-thailand's domestic airline, Bangkok Airways, is ready to take over the short-haul routes of Thai Airways International, should the government decide to divest the flag carrier of its domestic and short-haul regional operations. At present, no other Thai carrier is permitted to operate scheduled services on the routes of the government-owned airline. Hence, Bangkok Airways is restricted to flying domestic routes not served by Thai International and to charter operations.

While awaiting news of a change in government policy, Bangkok Airways is developing business successfully on the three scheduled routes that it is allowed to operate: Bangkok-samui, Samui-phuket and Bangkok-hua Hin. Last year, it carried 153,557 passengers on those operations, 80% of them on the Bangkok-samui service.

Samui is the key to Bangkok Airways' success. The company's owner, Dr. Prasert Prasarttong-osoth, saw the potential of Samui Island as a tourist resort if it could be reached by air. …

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