New private Lao airline takes off

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1522
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Laos has its first private airline. Lao Central Airlines, the country’s first privatly owned commercial carrier owned by the local Phongsavanh banking group, has commenced regular flights between Vientiane and Bangkok.

The carrier currently has two leased Boeing 737-400s and is due to take delivery of smaller Russian-made Sukhoi Superjet-100s in the second half of 2012.

Lao Central aims to operate a mix of regional and domestic services from its base in Vientiane. After the Bangkok inaugural flight in May 2012 it said it will be starting domestic services to Luang Prabang and to Pakse in June. The carrier has commissioned PricewaterhouseCoopers as consultant to draw up business and financing plans. Other routes will be opened to Cambodia, China, Vietnam and Singapore in the future, significantly improvinge air connectivity for the country which is generally underserved by airlines.

Currently, the management of Lao Central consists of Thai airline executives, but the company has said it will fill at least 80 per cent of its positions by Lao nationals within three years. Currently, pilots and cabin attendents are hired mainly from Thailand.

Lao Central, on the Bangkok route, is competing with Thai Airways and Lao Airlines. Thai AirAsia has repeatedly asked for permission to operate flights to the Lao capital, but failed to secure rights from the Lao government.

On March 22, 2012, Lao Central announced that it has signed a distribution agreement with international booking platform Amadeus, which will provide travel agents worldwide with complete access to the new airline’s entire range of fares, domestic and international schedules and inventories.

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Reading Time: 2 minutes

Laos has its first private airline. Lao Central Airlines, the country’s first privatly owned commercial carrier owned by the local Phongsavanh banking group, has commenced regular flights between Vientiane and Bangkok.

Reading Time: 2 minutes

Laos has its first private airline. Lao Central Airlines, the country’s first privatly owned commercial carrier owned by the local Phongsavanh banking group, has commenced regular flights between Vientiane and Bangkok.

The carrier currently has two leased Boeing 737-400s and is due to take delivery of smaller Russian-made Sukhoi Superjet-100s in the second half of 2012.

Lao Central aims to operate a mix of regional and domestic services from its base in Vientiane. After the Bangkok inaugural flight in May 2012 it said it will be starting domestic services to Luang Prabang and to Pakse in June. The carrier has commissioned PricewaterhouseCoopers as consultant to draw up business and financing plans. Other routes will be opened to Cambodia, China, Vietnam and Singapore in the future, significantly improvinge air connectivity for the country which is generally underserved by airlines.

Currently, the management of Lao Central consists of Thai airline executives, but the company has said it will fill at least 80 per cent of its positions by Lao nationals within three years. Currently, pilots and cabin attendents are hired mainly from Thailand.

Lao Central, on the Bangkok route, is competing with Thai Airways and Lao Airlines. Thai AirAsia has repeatedly asked for permission to operate flights to the Lao capital, but failed to secure rights from the Lao government.

On March 22, 2012, Lao Central announced that it has signed a distribution agreement with international booking platform Amadeus, which will provide travel agents worldwide with complete access to the new airline’s entire range of fares, domestic and international schedules and inventories.

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