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.
Mandalay’s main attractions include Shwenandaw Monastery, the Mahamuni Buddha Temple and Ubeng Bridge as well as pagodas in Bagan, the later requiring an overland bus trip, or transfer on a domestic airline.
With the additional flight to Mandalay, Thai AirAsia will serve eight destinations with 19 flights daily to Phnom Penh and Siem Reap in Cambodia, Luang Prabang and Vientiane in Laos Yangon and Mandalay in Myanmar and Ho Chi Minh City and Hanoi in Vietnam.
The airline is offering a one-way promotional fare, inclusive of airport tax and fees, ex-Bangkok to Mandalay at THB1,290.
Departing Suvarnabhumi Airport, Thai Smile sells an inclusive one-way fare on the same route starting at THB3,195 and Bangkok Airways sells at THB5,640.
The downside is the lack information on just how many seats Thai AirAsia sets aside at the cheap fares. Does it ensure there are cheap fares available for the entire promotional period or just for the first few hour of the campaign?
More information is needed as passengers waste time going online to book the fare and discover only a higher fare is on offer, just hours after the promotion kicked off. That is often called a teaser campaign and rarely appreciated by bargain hunters.