Bangkok Airways in talks over Betong-Hat Yai route
The green light is being sought from the Transport Ministry to launch a commercial route for Bangkok Airways between Songkhla's Hat Yai and Yala's Betong after the three-times-weekly Betong-Don Mueang flights operated by Nok Air were terminated on Oct 28.
Nok Air was the only airline serving Betong airport.
Narin Ruengwonsa, vice president of the tourism association in Betong, said the association has been in talks with Bangkok Airways to fly the 25-minute Betong-Hat Yai route.
The talks have made headway, with the issue now put to the Transport Ministry pending approval.
The fare on the Betong-Hat Yai flight is expected to be around 1,200-1,500 baht one-way.
Mr Narin said Nok Air operated the flight on Tuesdays, Fridays and Sundays. It was able to market the route with the help of the government, the Tourism Authority of Thailand, the tourism promotion associations and tour agencies.
The latest campaign to promote Betong as a tourist destination ended last month, which also saw the demand for travel to the country's southernmost district ebb.
The Betong tourism association has searched for a replacement for Nok Air which pulled the plug on its Betong-Don Mueang route on Oct 28 citing the steep operating costs.
Betong airport was opened to much fanfare on March 14 this year with Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha taking the first flight into the airport for its inauguration.