Nok boosts network with charters

BANGKOK, 3 October 2017: Nok Air has started flight operations from U-tapao airport, 30 km south of Pattaya resort.

The low-cost airline marked the first flight from the airport with a celebratory water spray arch to welcome the aircraft that flew from Nanchang.

The airline is contracted to offer four weekly charter flights from Nanchang, China, that arrive at 1600 at U-tapao International Airport.

Most of the Chinese travelling on pre-paid package holidays are heading for Pattaya, but some groups visit resorts in Rayong province and Samet Island.

The first flight coincided with China’s National Day holiday and the start of the Golden Week holiday season.

The airline has designated U-tapao International Airport as its second hub after Bangkok’s Don Mueang Airport but to exclusively accommodate charter flights from China.

The flights are not sold on the website to travellers resident in Thailand. They are all pre-sold to major Chinese tour operators.

This month, Nok Air is also contracted by travel companies in China, that buy the entire flight’s seat allotment, to ferry groups from four other cities in China; Yinchuan (once weekly), Haikao (three weekly), Changsha (three weekly), and Linyi  (two weekly).

This will give the airline flights to five cities and should help to improve the airline’s fleet use.

Nok Air’s chief executive officer, Piya Yodmani said: “We are delighted to launch our new charter flights and increase the role of our operating base at U-Tapao.

“We recognise the airport’s strong potential with its location, near the Eastern Economic Corridor, Rayong… (Also) Pattaya is a prime tourist destination. By extending our operations, we will increase the number of tourist arrivals from China, which will benefit the country’s economy, tourism, and overall business.”

Nok Air currently operates a fleet of Boeing 737-800s, Q400s, and ATR aircraft to 24 domestic airports and three regional destinations including Ho Chi Minh City, Hanoi, and Yangon.