Competition hot in Thailand-China air travel market

Competition hot in Thailand-China air travel market

The tight Thailand-China air travel market is making Thai AirAsia cautious about pushing into the Chinese market.
The tight Thailand-China air travel market is making Thai AirAsia cautious about pushing into the Chinese market.

With Chinese tourists being a third of all tourists in Thailand & China the favourite Thai travel destination, China flights set to increase but profitability is precarious.


Competition hot in Thailand-China air travel market

Boonsong Kositchotethana

Competition in the Thailand-China air travel market has intensified to the point where potential newcomers may have second thoughts before wading in.

Apart from Thai- registered airlines, Chinese carriers have joined the fray and heavily depressed yields -- the average fare paid per mile per passenger.

"Fare structures have changed dramatically over the past two years with very low yields," said Santisuk Klongchaiya, director of commercial operations at Thai AirAsia (TAA).


He said that the situation has slowed TAA's push into the Chinese market, as any such move would require caution and a clear business direction.

The last new China route, launched by TAA on May 27 last year, was its connection between Bangkok and Shantou, the ancestral home of Thais of Teochew descent.


TAA, Thailand's largest low-cost carrier, is one of the biggest operators in the Thailand-China segment, with 16 routes and 151 flights a week, all served by a fleet of Airbus 320 single- aisle jets.

Its affiliated long-haul airline, Thai AirAsia X (TAAX), also operates a daily service from Bangkok's Don Mueang airport to Shanghai, employing A330-300 widebody aircraft.

The Chinese cities being served by TAA include Xian, Chongging, Kunming, Wuhan, Changsha, Nanning, Macau, Hong Kong, Shenzhen, Guangzhou, Nangchang, Hangzhou and Shantou.

TAA has carried more than 35 million passengers to and from China over the past decade.

This year, TAA aims to carry 19.5 million passengers, up from an estimated 17 million in 2016, and sustain an average load factor of 84%.


Thailand is a top destination for Chinese travellers, while China has been the largest market for Thai tourism since 2012, fuelling air traffic between the two countries.

Last year 8.8 million Chinese came to Thailand while 9.8 million are projected to come this year -- about a third of total international arrivals.


TAA plans to launch two new China-bound routes later this year.

The regular flights are expected to be launched from a TAA base other than Don Mueang, with Mr Santisuk hinting at Chiang Mai.


Towards the end of the third quarter, TAA aims to launch two new routes to India, boosting its footprint there, which now covers Bengaluru, Chennai, Kolkata and Kochi.

Mr Santisuk declined to name the additional Indian cities, but said the delivery of more A320 jets to TAA's fleet later this year will enable the airline to cover more destinations.

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  • additional: more; more than was first mentioned or is usual - ที่เพิ่มขึ้น
  • affiliate: a company, an organisation, etc. that is connected with or controlled by another, larger one - บริษัทในเครือ, กิจการในเครือ, สาขา
  • affiliated: connected with - ที่เกี่ยวกับ
  • aim: to have as your purpose or goal - มีเป้าหมาย มีจุดมุ่งหมาย
  • aisle (noun): a long narrow space between rows of seats in a church, aircraft, train, cinema, etc. - ทางเดินระหว่างที่นั่ง (ในโบสถ์, โรงภาพยนตร์, เครื่องบิน)
  • ancestral (adj): involving your ancestors or something you get from your ancestors, people in your family who lived a long time ago - ที่ได้จากบรรพบุรุษ, ที่สืบต่อมาจากบรรพบุรุษ
  • apart from (prep): except for - นอกเหนือจาก
  • arrival: when someone reaches where they are going (arrives) - ขาเข้า การเข้ามา
  • average: an amount calculated by adding several amounts together, finding a total, and dividing the total by the number of amounts - เฉลี่ย, ค่าเฉลี่ย
  • base (noun): a place from where an activity can be planned or controlled - ฐาน, ฐานที่มั่น
  • boost: to increase; to strengthen - เพิ่ม; ทำให้มีกำลังมากขึ้น
  • carrier: a company that carries goods or passengers from one place to another, especially by air - บริษัทขนส่ง (โดยเฉพาะสายการบิน)
  • caution: careful thought and lack of hurry in order to try to avoid risks or danger - ความระมัดระวัง
  • clear (adjective): easy to see and understand - ชัดเจน
  • commercial: for business purposes - เกี่ยวกับการค้า
  • competition: a situation in which people or organizations compete, i.e., try to be more successful or better than somebody else who is trying to do the same as you - การแข่งขัน
  • connection: something that connects two things, etc. - การเชื่อมต่อ การเชื่อมโยง
  • daily (adj.): happening, done or produced every day - แต่ละวัน, ทุกวัน
  • decade: a period of ten years - ทศวรรษ
  • decline (verb): to say politely that you will not accept something, do something, or say something - ปฏิเสธ, ปฏิเสธที่จะทำ 
  • delivery (noun): the act of taking/sending goods, letters, information, etc. to the people they have been sent to - การส่ง, การส่งสินค้า
  • depress (verb): reduce, decrease, make lower -
  • descent: being related to a particular person or group of people who lived in the past - การสืบเชื้อสาย
  • destination: the place where someone or something is going - จุดหมายปลายทาง
  • direction: the general way in which a person or thing develops - ทิศทาง, การชี้ทาง
  • director: one of a group of senior managers who run a company - กรรมการบริษัท
  • dramatically: in a big way - อย่างใหญ่หลวง
  • employ: to use - ใช้
  • enable: to make someone able to do something, or to make something possible - ทำให้เป็นไปได้
  • estimated: thought to be a particular amount, size, etc. based on a guess or the best information available - ประมาณการ
  • expect (verb): to think or believe that something will happen or that somebody will do something - คาด, คาดว่า, คาดการณ์
  • fare: the money that you pay for a journey - ค่าโดยสาร
  • fleet: a group of ships, or all of the ships in a country's navy - ขบวนเรือ
  • footprint: the amount of business that a company does in a place; the presence of a company in a country -
  • fray: a fight, a competition or an argument, especially one that is exciting or seen as a test of your ability - การต่อสู้, การทะเลาะวิวาท,การชกต่อย
  • fuelling (verb): causing something to increase - กระตุ้น
  • have second thoughts: to change your opinion about something or start to doubt it - เริ่มสงสัยว่าสิ่งที่ทำอยู่ถูกหรือเปล่า
  • intensify: to get stronger - เข้มข้นขึ้น
  • international: connected with or involving two or more countries - นานาชาติ, สากล, ระหว่างประเทศ
  • launch: an event held to start selling a new product or service to the public - การเริ่มวางขาย
  • long-haul: long-distance -
  • newcomers (noun): people who are new to some situation or job or place - คนมาใหม่, สมาชิกใหม่, คนที่เพิ่มมาถึง
  • operate: to carry out an activity like running a business - ดำเนินการ
  • operations: the activity or work done in an area of business or industry - ปฎิบัติการ
  • operator (noun): a person or company that runs a business - ผู้ดำเนินกิจการทางธุรกิจ, ผู้ประกอบธุรกิจ
  • passengers (noun): people who travel in a motor vehicle, aircraft, train, or ship but is not the driver or one of the people who works on it - ผู้โดยสาร
  • potential: possible in the future - ที่อาจเป็นไปได้
  • project: to make a calculation or guess about the future based on information that you have - คาดคะเน
  • quarter (noun): three months of the year on the official calendar of the government or companies - ไตรมาส
  • registered (adj): to be on an official list; to be on an official list of names of people who are allowed to do something, e.g., vote, study, sell something, stay in a hotel etc - ซึ่งลงทะเบียนไว้
  • regular (adj): normal; following a pattern, especially with the same time and space in between each thing and the next - ปกติ, เป็นประจำ, เสมอๆ
  • require: to make somebody do or have something, especially because it is necessary according to a particular law or set of rules - บังคับใช้ (กฎหมาย) กำหนด
  • route: the way that planes, buses, trains, or ships travel regularly - เส้นทางของรถ เรือ เครื่องบิน,etc.
  • segment: market segment; products produced for a group of customers that have many things in common such as income or family size or age or location - ส่วนตลาด
  • situation: all the circumstances and things that are happening at a particular time and in a particular place - สถานการณ์
  • structure: the way in which the parts of something are connected together, arranged or organised - โครงสร้าง
  • sustain: to keep; to continue - รักษาไว้
  • traffic (noun): the number of cars, trucks and other vehicles traveling along a road at one time - การจราจร
  • wading in: gradually start doing something; trying something out slowly, before making a decision to join in completely -
  • yield (noun): the return or total amount of profits and income you get from an investment or a business - ผลตอบแทน, ผลตอบแทนจากการลงทุน
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