VIENTIANE, 1 August 2017: Lao Airlines will relaunch a flight between Vientiane and Singapore starting 29 October.
According to the airline website, the route will be operated with three weekly flights Wednesday, Friday and Sunday using an Airbus A320.
Earlier this year Lao Airlines halted direct flights from Vientiane to Singapore without giving any credible reasons according to Vientiane Times.
The cancellation of the Singapore service was criticised by hoteliers who have seen occupancies drop in Vientiane caused by a substantial decline in visits to the capital. One hotelier described to TTR Weekly an unprecedented drop in visits that started in 2016 and continues through to this month.
Singapore is one of the major aviation gateways that should be served by the national airline. However, poor management and a lack of creativity in market has seen the airline lose market share. Out of Singapore SilkAir serves both Vientiane and Luang Prabang and has already cornered the leisure market.
La Airlines will sell a promotional one-way fare, inclusive of taxes and fees, ex-Vientiane to Singapore starting at USD155.
Last year, just 8,512 Singaporean tourists travelled to Laos up by a small 3.08% from 8,258 visits in 2015, according to Ministry of Information, Culture and Tourism’s Tourism Development Department data.
Currently, Lao Airlines network extends to 12 international destinations and six locations within the Lao PDR.
New routes are planned but without stating timeframes. Options include Hong Kong, Taiwan and Japan, the airline said.
SilkAir launched services to Vientiane and Luang Prabang in Laos last October operating with three weekly flights on Monday, Thursday and Saturday. Flights from Singapore make a stop in Vientiane and then continue to Luang Prabang, before heading back directly to Singapore.