TAA adds more flights

The low-cost carrier Thai AirAsia (TAA) plans to ramp up frequencies on its Chiang Mai-Hat Yai route next year in response to rising demand for the North-South connection.

Executives of Thailand's largest budget carrier disclosed the plan because competing budget airline Nok Air is expected to launch daily service on the route Jan 1.

TAA declined to say how many more flights it would add or when they would be launched.

However, an industry insider said TAA has a 90% occupancy rate on the route, supporting an incremental increase in TAA services next year.

Increasing frequencies on TAA's existing domestic routes and connecting with more Chinese cities are at the top of airline's expansion plan next year.

TAA started its Chiang Mai-Hat Yai route on Jan 24.

It is a daily flight on board its 180-seat Airbus 320, while Nok Air will deploy a Boeing 737-800 with 189 seats.

TAA and its sister airlines have the most direct flights out of Chiang Mai and Hat Yai.

Service includes Hat Yai-Don Mueang (seven flights a day), Hat Yai-Chiang Mai (once daily), Hat Yai-Kuala Lumpur (once daily), Chiang Mai-Don Mueang (nine daily), Chiang Mai-Phuket (twice daily), Chiang Mai-Ubon Ratchathani (thrice weekly), Chiang Mai-Macau (once daily) and Chiang Mai-Kuala Lumpur (once daily).