Samui eyed as hub for Chinese

Samui eyed as hub for Chinese

Bangkok Airways (BA) is gearing up for re-entry into Chinese skies, placing a priority on connections with its lucrative Samui hub.

President Puttipong Prasarttong-Osoth says China is the main focus for Bangkok Airways' international expansion.

Having quietly relaunched its first mainland China service in seven years with four-weekly Samui-Chengdu flights in July, the SET-listed full-service carrier is set to follow up with two more routes.

The airline will start a daily Samui-Guangzhou flight and thrice-weekly Samui-Chongqing service in November and December respectively, said president Puttipong Prasarttong-Osoth.

All three routes will be served by Airbus A319 series jetliners.

Bangkok Airways wants to develop Samui, where the airline owns the sole airport, as a Thai destination of choice for Chinese, allowing it toavoid intense competition from the capital to destinations operated by an assortment of legacy and budget carriers.

The airline recorded 22% growth in Chinese tourist arrivals in the first half this year, up 13% in the second quarter alone. The carrier also saw the revenue contribution by its eight interline partner airlines rise 54% year-on-year in the first half, with revenue from point-of-sales in China making up 4% of passenger revenue.

The airline also plans to ramp up its Bangkok-Danang route, launched in May, to seven flights a week from four some time this month.

BA shares closed yesterday on the SET at 24.90 baht, down 10 satang, in trade worth 229 million baht.

Do you like the content of this article?