Studying market opportunities connecting Bangkok: AirAsia
Chennai: Low cost airliner AirAsia was studying the market opportunities connecting Bangkok with southern cities in India, a top official said on Friday.
The Thai airline currently operates in cities including Chennai, Kochi, Bangalore, Tiruchirapalli and Kolkata offering 47 flights per week to Kuala Lumpur, Bangkok and other places.
After announcing the launch of direct flights between Chennai and Bangkok, to be offered five-times a week, Thai AirAsia CEO Tassapon Bijleveld said they were studying the
opportunities in connecting southern cities with Bangkok.
"We are currently studying the market..", he told reporters here.
Noting that the number of tourists visiting the South East Asian country was growing in the last few years, he said with the launch of direct flights between Chennai and Bangkok, they
were expecting about 75-80 percent "occupancy rate" in their Airbus A320 flights.
The direct flights between the two cities would begin on March 23, he said.
Consul General Royal Thai Consulate, Chanchai Charanvatnakit, expressing happiness for the launching the direct flights, said the number of Indian tourists visiting Bangkok was expected to cross over 10 lakh this year.
"Last year about 9.8lakh tourists from India visited Thailand.. This year we expect it will be over 10 lakh..",he said. He said the number of tourists from Thailand was less than a lakh in 2011 as most of them visited North Indian cities.
As part of attracting more Indian tourists, Air Asia offers an introductory price of Rs 3,999 on one-way route from Chennai to Bangkok. The fare is available for online bookings from March nine to March 15 and for travel between July one and January 31, 2013.
Currently, Air Asia was looking to introduce direct flights between Bangalore, Kochi, Hyderabad to Bangkok and other places in Thailand.