BANGKOK, 19 January 2017: Thai AirAsia will increase flights on the Bangkok-Mandalay route to twice daily starting 17 March.
The airline’s commercial director, Santisuk Klongchaiya, said direct flights to Myanmar’s second largest city are busy as more Thai people travel to the country mainly on Buddhist pilgrimage holidays.
There is also strong medical tourism traffic out of Mandalay heading to Bangkok’s top hospitals. Visa-free travel between the two countries (airline passengers only) has encouraged travel agents to organise holiday packages in both directions. Read more
SINGAPORE, 19 January 2017: Vietjet has launched its fifth route to Taiwan, linking Ho Chi Minh City with Taichung.
The airline now has the most routes connecting Vietnam and Taiwan and serves more destinations in Taiwan than any other budget airline.
The new service was launched 15 January to meet increased travel demand between the two destinations. Read more
VIENTIANE, 18 January 2017: National airline Lao Airlines has ended flights between Vientiane and Attapeu as ticketing revenue failed to reach a breakeven point for the airline.
Vientiane Times quoted the airline’s Commercial and Marketing Department deputy director, Oudom Souvanthong, saying the airline cancelled the flights during the last quarter of 2016, because passenger traffic was well below earlier forecasts.
Lao Airlines offered a twice weekly service from Vientiane, via Pakse International Airport in Champasak province, to Attapeu province’s so-called international airport, last May, and increased frequency to three weekly services last July. Read more
BANGKOK, 18 January 2017: Thailand’s Minister of Transport has assigned Aeronautical Radio of Thailand to raise the standard of aviation and boost flights to 2.7 million by 2032.
Transport Minister Arkhom Termpittayapaisith met with executives of AEROTHAI to present his policy guidelines on the overhaul of the Thai aviation industry, that aims to increase flights , annually, by nine to 10%.
The minister noted the country was served by 909,000 flights and that should increase to 1 million this year and double to 2 million by 2027. Read more
MELBOURNE, 18 January 2017: Australia’s transport minister, Wednesday, defended the suspension of the undersea search for MH370, after relatives of passengers slammed the decision, and added that it could resume if “credible new evidence” emerges.
Australia, Malaysia and China — where most of the 239 on board the missing Malaysia Airlines jet resided — on Tuesday pulled the plug on the massive operation in the southern Indian Ocean almost three years since the plane vanished, 8 March 2014, en route from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing.
Transport Minister Darren Chester said the investigation’s high cost — about AUD200 million (USD150 million) — was not a factor in the decision. It came after the search of the remote 120,000 square-kilometre zone (46,000 square miles) was completed without success. Read more
VIENTIANE, 17 January 2017: Lao PDR’s Department of Civil Aviation says its priority is to encourage more international airlines to serve the capital Vientiane.
In an interview with Vientiane Times the department claimed there were more direct flights to Laos, many of them charter flights during the peak tourist season November to April.
Flights from China are on the increase. Previously, only China Eastern Airlines operated flights, but now Sichuan Airlines and Hainan Airlines, both serve the country direct from China. Read more
RIYADH, 17 January 2017: Low-cost Saudi carrier flynas on Monday signed an USD8.6-billion deal with European plane manufacturer Airbus to purchase 80 A320neo single-aisle jets.
Flynas chairman Ayed al-Jeaid said at a ceremony in Riyadh that the deal includes an option for 40 more of the short to medium-haul planes, to cater for what airline executives described as a growing domestic market.
Bander al-Mohanna, the chief executive of NAS Holding, of which flynas is a division, signed the agreement with Fouad Attar, Middle East director for France-based Airbus. Read more
BANGKOK, 16 January 2017: Peach Aviation, a Japanese low-cost airline, will introduce a new route connecting Bangkok and Okinawa in Japan next month.
The carrier will launch daily flights from Okinawa to Bangkok starting 19 February and from Bangkok to Okinawa 20 February.
Speaking at a press conference, last Thursday, the airline representative director and CEO, Shinichi Inoue, said the upcoming service would be the airline’s first route to a destination in Southeast Asia. Read more
KUWAIT CITY, 16 January 2017: A German plane carrying 299 passengers made an emergency landing in Kuwait on Sunday over a hoax bomb threat, authorities in the Gulf emirate said.
The aircraft was operated by Eurowings, a low-cost carrier owned by Lufthansa, that competes head-on with Ryanair and Easyjet.
The aircraft was travelling from Salalah in Oman to Cologne in Germany when the captain requested an emergency landing. Read more
NEW DELHI, 16 January 2017: India has the world’s fastest growing passenger airline industry, expanding at an annual rate of around 20%. Here are some facts and figures:
How many Indians fly
Nearly 90 million people in the financial year that ended in 31 March 2016, according to industry analysts CAPA — up from fewer than 20 million in 2004, when the sector first opened up. But the country of 1.2 billion remains one of the world’s most under-penetrated markets with huge potential for growth. Read more