Bangkok gets budget airline hub

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Thai AirAsia will move its 100 daily flights from Suvarnabhumi to Don Mueang in October

Bangkok’s old international airport Don Mueang will be reactivated to serve as a hub for low costs carriers including Thai AirAsia, state operator Airports of Thailand (AOT) announced on June 26. Don Mueang  has been closed several month after November 2012’s flooding had set runways and hangars under water and is currently being renovated and upgraded at costs of 1.64 billion baht.

In a first step, Thai AirAsia will move all its operations – around 100 flights per day serving eight million passengers per year – to Don Mueang on October 1, 2012, the company confirmed in a press release on the same day. This is supposed to greatly ease the congestion at Bangkok’s main international airport Suvarnabhumi which is designed to handle 45 million passengers yearly, but its volume has already reached 47 million. Projections have been made that traffic would soar to 51 million over the next two years if all airlines continue to use Suvarnabhumi.

Tassapon Bijleveld, CEO of Thai AirAsia, said that AirAsia’s decision to return to Don Mueang Airport was “carefully assessed as the capabilities of the airport are in line with AirAsia’s own growth plan.”

The AOT board has approved massive discounts for carriers to make them move their base to Don Mueang. Fees for take-off, landing and hangars at Don Mueang have been cut by 30 per cent from October 2012 for one year, and by 20 per cent for the following year. The discounts will be gradually phased out over three years.

Reportedly, AOT is talking to 14 low-cost carriers to move to Don Mueang. The airport operator said it wants to attract all international airlines operating under the low-fare model on their Bangkok routes, including Airberlin, Jetstar Cebu, Jin Air, Indigo and Orient Thai. They would take away about ten million passengers a year under the current estimate from Suvarnabhumi.

Don Mueang currently caters for Thai budget airlines Nok Air and One-Two-Go as well as for non-connecting regional Thai Airways flights for about three million passengers a year. According to AOT, Don Mueang could handle 36.5 million passengers annually. Don Mueang is situated in the north of Bangkok while Suvarnabhumi is in the southeast, with a distance of 38 kilometers between the two airports.

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Reading Time: 2 minutes

Thai AirAsia will move its 100 daily flights from Suvarnabhumi to Don Mueang in October

Bangkok’s old international airport Don Mueang will be reactivated to serve as a hub for low costs carriers including Thai AirAsia, state operator Airports of Thailand (AOT) announced on June 26. Don Mueang  has been closed several month after November 2012’s flooding had set runways and hangars under water and is currently being renovated and upgraded at costs of 1.64 billion baht.

Reading Time: 2 minutes

Thai AirAsia will move its 100 daily flights from Suvarnabhumi to Don Mueang in October

Bangkok’s old international airport Don Mueang will be reactivated to serve as a hub for low costs carriers including Thai AirAsia, state operator Airports of Thailand (AOT) announced on June 26. Don Mueang  has been closed several month after November 2012’s flooding had set runways and hangars under water and is currently being renovated and upgraded at costs of 1.64 billion baht.

In a first step, Thai AirAsia will move all its operations – around 100 flights per day serving eight million passengers per year – to Don Mueang on October 1, 2012, the company confirmed in a press release on the same day. This is supposed to greatly ease the congestion at Bangkok’s main international airport Suvarnabhumi which is designed to handle 45 million passengers yearly, but its volume has already reached 47 million. Projections have been made that traffic would soar to 51 million over the next two years if all airlines continue to use Suvarnabhumi.

Tassapon Bijleveld, CEO of Thai AirAsia, said that AirAsia’s decision to return to Don Mueang Airport was “carefully assessed as the capabilities of the airport are in line with AirAsia’s own growth plan.”

The AOT board has approved massive discounts for carriers to make them move their base to Don Mueang. Fees for take-off, landing and hangars at Don Mueang have been cut by 30 per cent from October 2012 for one year, and by 20 per cent for the following year. The discounts will be gradually phased out over three years.

Reportedly, AOT is talking to 14 low-cost carriers to move to Don Mueang. The airport operator said it wants to attract all international airlines operating under the low-fare model on their Bangkok routes, including Airberlin, Jetstar Cebu, Jin Air, Indigo and Orient Thai. They would take away about ten million passengers a year under the current estimate from Suvarnabhumi.

Don Mueang currently caters for Thai budget airlines Nok Air and One-Two-Go as well as for non-connecting regional Thai Airways flights for about three million passengers a year. According to AOT, Don Mueang could handle 36.5 million passengers annually. Don Mueang is situated in the north of Bangkok while Suvarnabhumi is in the southeast, with a distance of 38 kilometers between the two airports.

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