Lao Airlines to increase fleet

VIENTIANE - Lao Airlines plans to buy two ATR72-600 aircraft next year and two Airbus 320s in 2015 to cope with its expanding routes, media reports said on Monday.

Lao Airlines, established in 1976, currently has 14 aircraft - four A320s, four ATR72-500s, two ATR72-600s and four MA60s.

Phouthasone Vannachack, director-general of the airline's commercial department, said it will increase domestic and international routes this year, the Vientiane Times reported.

In October, the national carrier will increase it flights between Vientiane and Oudomxay, Bokeo and Luang Namtha provinces from three to four times daily.

In the same month, it will begin operating regular flights to Incheon, South Korea.

October marks the beginning of the peak tourism season in Laos.

In 2012, more than 3.3 million foreign tourists visited the communist country, equal to half of Laos' total population, providing about US$513 million in foreign exchange.

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