Seven Airlines See Passenger Numbers Soar This Year

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https://www.nationthailand.com/business/corporate/40020271

Seven airlines see passenger numbers soar this year

Seven Airlines See Passenger Numbers Soar This Year

WEDNESDAY, SEPTEMBER 21, 2022

THE NATION

Seven Airlines Under The Thai Airlines Association Are On Cloud Nine, As Increasing Passenger Numbers And An Improving Pandemic Situation Fuel Recovery This Year.

Bangkok Airways, Thai AirAsia, Thai AirAsia X, Thai Smile Airways, Nok Air, Thai Lion Air and Thai Vietjet have all seen passenger numbers shoot up by around 50 per cent of the level in 2019, before the pandemic appeared and went on to cause global havoc.

Association president Puttipong Prasarttong-Osoth said on Tuesday that he estimated the seven airlines would bounce back to the same level of 2019 by the fourth quarter of 2023.

“Domestic flights are now back to around 80 per cent, and should be fully restored in the second half of next year as airlines expect more foreign tourists to visit the country and travel across provinces,” said Puttipong.

According to him, no member airlines have immediate plans to hike airfares, as the industry needs to attract more passengers during the recovery phase and therefore must keep prices competitive.

Airlines also need to control operational costs amid unstable factors such as rising fuel prices, inflation and the currency exchange rate, so that their ticket price structures are not affected, he added.

Speaking as CEO and president of Bangkok Airways (BA), Puttipong said BA is discussing with 27 partner airlines resumption of a codeshare agreement that had been suspended due to the pandemic.

He said BA’s current international passengers are only 20 per cent of the number before Covid-19, since about 70 per cent of its international passengers are from codeshare flights.

“BA is now flying 20 planes from our total fleet of 37. All of our domestic flights are now resuming, while international flights have been opened to 50 per cent of destinations, such as Phnom Penh, Rangoon, Maldives, Singapore and Danang,” he said.

“The next international flight scheduled for this high season is Bangkok-Luang Prabang.”

Bangkok Airways is eying 2.2 million passengers in 2022, after passing the 1-million milestone in the first six months. The airline’s average load factor this year is estimated at 70 per cent.

THE NATION

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