Thai Lion Air Has Successful International Launch
Bangkok, December 18, 2013 - Thai Lion Air today successfully launched its first two international services, reinforcing Bangkok’s position as a leading international air hub.
The Thai-designated carrier now operates a twice-daily non-stop service from it base at Bangkok Don Mueang International Airport to Jakarta and a daily service to Kuala Lumpur. Both services launched on December 18.
Having the Thai Lion Air service to Jakarta means Bangkok is now effectively connected to many destinations in Indonesia with a one-stop service via Jakarta. This is because Thai Lion Air’s sister carriers in Indonesia, Lion Air and Wings Air, are based in Jakarta and serve 76 destinations in Indonesia, more than any other airline group.
Indonesia and Thailand are the two biggest economies in ASEAN and passenger traffic between the two countries is increasing, thanks to more leisure and business traffic. The Tourism Authority of Thailand says there were 448,748 Indonesian tourists who visited Thailand last year, a 21% increase on the previous year. It also says 57,032 Thai tourists visited Indonesia in 2012, a 3% increase year-on-year.
“Thai Lion Air’s consistently low fares will help to further stimulate demand,” says Thai Lion Air CEO, Darsito Hendroseputro.
The market for air travel between Malaysia and Thailand is also growing, creating further opportunities for Thai Lion Air. National airports operator Malaysia Airports says 1.47 million people travelled last year between Bangkok and Kuala Lumpur International Airport, an 8% increase year-on-year.
Thai Lion Air recently signed an interline agreement with Malindo Air, a Malaysian carrier in which the Lion Group owns 49%. Flying to Kuala Lumpur means Thai Lion Air can link up with Malindo’s domestic and international network.
Thai Lion Air operates two 737-900ER aircraft, both of which seat 215 passengers in an all-economy class configuration.
The airline will be receiving two more aircraft in February and these will be 189-seat Boeing 737-800s. The carrier plans to increase its Bangkok-Chiang Mai service to four-times-daily from double-daily starting in February. It also plans to launch a daily non-stop service in February from Bangkok to Singapore, as well as launch new domestic services such as Bangkok-Hat Yai and Chiang Mai-Krabi.
"We think Krabi and Chiang Mai are quite conducive – in the colder months people from Chiang Mai can travel down south for holidays in Krabi to enjoy the relatively warm weather there, and in the hotter months people from Krabi can travel north to Chiang Mai and enjoy the mountains and relatively cooler weather in Chiang Mai," says the Darsito.
The fact that Thai Lion Air is planning to serve Chiang Mai-Krabi is to testimony to our commitment to serve new routes in Thailand, says Darsito. "We will serve trunk routes but also develop new secondary routes," he adds.
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