BANGKOK, 13 December 2016: Thai Smile will introduce a new flight connecting Bangkok to Luang Prabang, a world heritage town in Laos starting 16 January, next year.
The airline will offer four weekly flights on Monday, Wednesday, Friday and Sunday using an Airbus A320 aircraft.
Thai Smile will take over the route from Thai Airways International, which previously offered a seasonal service up to April this year.
Luang Prabang’s tourism is growing fast mainly on the back of new low-cost airline services. Thai AirAsia was the first low-cost airline to gain permission to fly to Luang Prabang, 24 March, and already there are strong signs that the World Heritage town is thriving from a mini tourism boom.
SilkAir from Singapore inaugurated flights to both Vientiane and Luang Prabang, 31 October.
AirAsia launched direct flights connecting Kuala Lumpur in Malaysia and Luang Prabang, 21 November.
Other airlines operating services to the heritage town are Bangkok Airways, Lao Airlines, Lao Skyway and Vietnam Airlines.
Bangkok Airways was the first regional airline to serve the destination and has been credited with introducing the destination to the international travel market.
Luang Prabang was recognised as a World Heritage site in 1995. It captured the imagination of travellers because of the fusion of traditional and French colonial architecture dating back to the 19th century and its chill-out ambience that still survives despite a tourism boom. It is one of the few remaining towns in Asia that reflect a blending of two distinct cultural traditions.
Luang Prabang’s tourism officials believe the World Heritage town will welcome 700,000 international visitors annually by 2018.
The town has 76 hotels and resorts, 327 guesthouses, 286 traditional and international restaurants and 75 tourism companies.
Thai Smile is offering a one-way promotional fare, inclusive of all taxes and fees, at THB3,495 on Bangkok-Luang Prabang route.
Booking is open until 24 March next year. Travel period starts 16 January to 24 March next year.
In comparison to Thai airlines operating flights to Luang Prabang, Thai AirAsia starts an inclusive one-way fare on the route at THB2,995 and Bangkok Airways offers at THB3,920.