Nok hypes third route to Myanmar

Bangkok-Yangon has become the third confirmed Myanmar-bound route that Nok Air will launch as it gears towards reviving its international service, which was suspended in 2008 as part of a business downsizing.

Nok Air executives on Thursday said the budget airline is due to commence regular jet service on the route from Nov 1, with four flights a week on Sunday, Monday, Wednesday and Friday before adding a second flight on each of those days on Dec 1.

Furthermore, it will go double daily from next Jan 1 as it consolidates its position on the route, to be served by Boeing 737-800 single-aisle jets.

Demand will be spurred by the 27th SEA Games in Nay Pyi Taw this December and Myanmar's assumption of the Asean chairmanship next year.

Myanmar, seen as a fast-emerging market, is featuring prominently on Nok Air's revived international flights, eclipsing southern China on its radar screen as enthusiasm for the latter market has waned over the past year.

Nok Air recently announced two other Myanmar-bound routes - daily flights from Mae Sot to Mawlamyine from Sept 1 and Mae Sot to Yangon from Oct 1 - to be served by Saab 340B turboprops with 34 seats chartered from Siam General Aviation Co.

For the Bangkok-Yangon service to operate out of its Don Mueang airport base, the airline is offering a promotional net ticket price starting from 1,590 baht one-way.

Budget carrier Thai AirAsia has offered Bangkok-Yangon service out of Don Mueang for nearly a year, while full-service carriers Bangkok Airways and Thai Airways International fly out of Suvarnabhumi airport.

Chief executive Patee Sarasin said Nok Air is keen to expand its Myanmar network by connecting to smaller cities in that country rather than pursuing trunk routes.

About the author

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Writer: Boonsong Kositchotethana
Position: Deputy Editor Business