Nok Air is to link Chiang Mai and Hat Yai with a new daily jet service to exploit a travel market opportunity overlooked by other airlines.
The budget carrier will become the first airline to provide a non-stop scheduled service between the northern and southern cities.
The service, which will start on Jan 1, will be the longest flight on Nok Air's network at two hours and five minutes, a Nok Air executive said yesterday.
The airline has chosen this route instead of joining the fray on the Chiang Mai-Phuket sector, which is serviced by airlines such as Thai AirAsia and Bangkok Airways.
Nok Air expects a mix of business and leisure travellers to use the service.
The Chiang Mai-Hat Yai flight takes off at 8.30am and arrives at 10.35am, while the return flight departs at 11.05am and touches down at 1.15pm.
The launch comes amid a notable increase of 11 daily flights on its existing eight domestic trunk routes.
The new services are meant to take advantage of high-season demand and to absorb the airline's extra capacity as it expands its fleet.
On Wednesday, Nok Air took delivery of its sixth Boeing 737-800 with 189 seats, adding to the three B737-400s and two ATR72 turboprops deployed on secondary routes.
From Dec 1, the airline will step up flights from Bangkok's Don Mueang airport to Chiang Rai to three flights a day from two, to Chiang Mai to nine from six, to Udon Thani to five from four, to Ubon Ratchathani to four from three, and to Hat Yai to seven from five.
From Jan 1, its flights from Don Mueang to Phuket will increase to three a day from two, to Nakhon Si Thammarat to five from four, and to Surat Thani to four from three.
About the author
- Writer: Boonsong Kositchotethana
Position: Deputy Editor Business