Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Thai AirAsia Connects To India With Delhi, Kolkata Flights

Aviation Daily Oct 20 , 2010 , p. 15
Neelam Mathews

Budget carrier Thai AirAsia will launch four flights to Bangkok from Delhi and a daily from Kolkata on Dec. 1, using an Airbus A320.

The carrier wants to tap Hong Kong, Macau and some Chinese destinations from Bangkok for the Indian market. It may also launch Bangkok-Mumbai service in the second half of 2011.

As the market grows, AirAsia will increase operations from Chennai in southern India to Kuala Lumpur, starting Oct. 31 to 11 from seven flights a week.

Thailand is one of the fastest-growing markets for Indian travelers for tourism and events. Last year, arrivals from India to Thailand increased by more than 14% to 614,566 visitors, ranking fifth in Thailand’s international arrivals.

For the first eight months of this year, Indian arrivals jumped 20% year-on-year, marking a significant growth for this sector, CEO Tassapon Bijleveld said recently. The carrier expects a load factor of about 85% on the two flights from India.

Commenting on the potential of the Indian market, AirAsia Group CEO Tony Fernandes told AVIATION WEEK in March, “We have just scratched the surface. I should be doing 600 flights to India...By end of 2011, we will have added 30% more flights to India over 2010.”

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