Thai VietJet Air plans Sept 15 take-off

Thai VietJet Air plans Sept 15 take-off

A VietJet Air A320 takes off. The Vietnamese low-cost carrier will begin flights of its Thai subsidiary in mid-September.
A VietJet Air A320 takes off. The Vietnamese low-cost carrier will begin flights of its Thai subsidiary in mid-September.

Thai VietJet Air (TVJA) has set a definite date for its long-pending launch that has been delayed for years.

Though the Thai subsidiary of Vietnamese no-frills carrier VietJet Air has yet to officially announce its launch, TVJA's debut is fixed for Sept 15.

The airline recently commenced taking reservations online for three domestic routes.

Two of the three routes -- Bangkok-Phuket and Phuket-Chiang Rai -- with two daily flights and three flights a week, respectively, will start on Sept 15.

The third route, Bangkok-Chiang Mai with two daily flights, is scheduled for launch on Sept 26.

VietJet Air executives told the Bangkok Post that an official announcement for the launch of TVJA would be made early next month, saying the opening of online reservations was made on a "trial basis".

TVJA will become the first Thai-registered low-cost carrier (LCC) in over two and a half years to take to the skies, which are increasingly crowded with budget flights.

The previous LCC entry was Thai Lion Air, part of Indonesia's Lion Airline Group, which started commercial services in December 2013.

The arrival of TVJA will intensify competition among no-frills carriers, which include five other Thai-registered operators: market leader Thai AirAsia, Thai AirAsia X, Nok Air, NokScoot and THAI Smile.

TVJA's entry in the Thai domestic market will contribute to the oversupply of seat capacity on domestic routes, the airline cautioned.

The carrier has made available two single-aisle A320 jets from its parent airline to get its Thai flights off the ground from its base at Suvarnabhumi airport, rather than Bangkok's Don Mueang airport, where most other LCCs operate.

TVJA plans to grow its network with the inauguration of regular services from Bangkok to Danang, Dalat and Haiphong later this year.

The carrier will also partially assume the two routes currently served by parent VietJet Air: Suvarnabhumi to Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City, with 1-2 flights a day and 3-4 flights a day, respectively.

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