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THX-2014-09 - TO NARITA AND OSAKA-A
THX-2014-09 - TO NARITA AND OSAKA-B
Formed in 2013 and started operations in 2014. Regional & international, scheduled & charter, passenger & cargo jet airplane services.
99 Mu 5 1st Floor OSC Building
Kingkeaw Road, Samutprakarn, Thailand
THAILAND (KINGDOM OF THAILAND) COVERS AN AREA OF 513,115 SQ KM, ITS POPULATION IS 59 MILLION, ITS CAPITAL CITY IS BANGKOK, AND ITS OFFICIAL LANGUAGE IS THAI.
August 2013: See video - - "VISIT THAILAND" - -
April 2014: Thai AirAsia X (TAAX) (THX) will launch services on June 17 from Bangkok’s Don Mueang International Airport to Korea’s Incheon International. The new airline, (THX) is a joint venture (JV) long-haul start-up between low-cost carrier (LCC), long-haul carrier AirAsia X (ASX) and Thai shareholders. (THX) will initially use 2 Airbus A330-300s on the daily route. “We are very confident that there is enormous demand for this route,” Thai AirAsia X (THX) (CEO) Nadda Buranasiri said.
The new (LCC) plans to introduce flights to Tokyo and Osaka in Japan later in the year, but no dates have been given. Due to the expansion of Southeast Asian tourism and business travel, the decision to open business on the Korean route is a logical one, Nadda said. “Due to the visa exemption agreement for Thai passport holders, Seoul is an accessible and affordable destination for many Thai people,” he said. In 2013, some 400,000 Thai travelers flew to Seoul
(THX)’s original plans for a New Year launch were pushed back, partly due to political turmoil in Thailand.
Thai AirAsia (THA) said that while its Airbus A320 airplanes offer good connectivity for short-haul and regional destinations, its new A330 wide bodies will better suit long-haul routes. “Our new potential to reach further destinations will strengthen AirAsia (ASW)’s extensive route network and create more affordable long-haul travel opportunities from Bangkok,” Nadda added.
The new (LCC) will be the AirAsia Group’s seventh subsidiary.
October 2013: It is believed that Nok Air (NKA) is once again looking at long-haul to compete against the likely launch later this year of a Thai base for AirAsia X (ASX). (ASX)’s Thai joint venture (JV), Thai AirAsia X (THX), was expected to receive its air operator’s license from Thailand’s department of civil aviation at the end of September, ahead of an application for an air operator’s certificate (AOC).
(THX) is 49% owned by AirAsia X (ASX), while Thai AirAsia (THA) (CEO) Tassapon Bijleveld holds 41% and local entrepreneur, Julpas Kruesopon holds the remaining 10%.
June 2014: Thai AirAsia X (THX) launched operations on June 17th. (THX)'s 1st route is a daily service from Bangkok Don Mueang (DMK) to Seoul Incheon (ICN) - - SEE ATTACHED - - "THX-2014-06-BANGKOK-SEOUL-A/B." The 3,680 km route is operated by (THX)'s A330-300s and faces no direct competition. However, 8 airlines operate between Bangkok Suvarnabhumi and Seoul Incheon; Korean Air (KAL) (3x-daily flights), Thai Airways (TII) (18x-weekly flights), Jeju Air (JJA) (2x-daily flights), and Asiana Airlines (AAR), Business Air (BCC), Eastar Jet (EJS), Jin Air (JIN), and t’way air (TWY), who all operate daily flights. Thai AirAsia X (THX)’s A330s have been configured with 377 seats; 12C Business Class Premium flatbed seats, and 365Y Economy Class seats. For comparison, Lufthansa (DLH)’s A330-300s operate with between 217 and 221 seats.
September 2014: Thai AirAsia X (THX), which launched on June 17th with flights to Seoul Incheon, has added its 2nd and 3rd routes from Bangkok Don Mueang (DMK). On September 1st, it began 5x-weekly flights on the 4,157 km route to Osaka Kansai (KIX), as well as daily flights on the 4,646 km route to Tokyo Narita (NRT). The Narita route will double in frequency to 2x-daily from March 26th 2015, while Kansai flights will increase from 5x- to 7x-weekly. Both routes will face no direct competition and be operated by (THX)’s A330-300s. Mr Nadda Buranasiri (CEO) of Thai AirAsia X (THX) said, “Today is another important day for our airline with inaugural flights for 2 routes to Japan, namely; Bangkok (DMK) to Tokyo (NRT) and Bangkok (DMK) to Osaka (KIX). Despite the low season, our flights have been well received and we are confident that the demand for low-fare travel between the 2 countries will continue to increase. We have already achieved an advance booking rate of 50% for the 1st quarter of 2015 and have decided to increase flight frequencies during the Songkran holiday.” From Bangkok Suvarnabhumi (BKK) both Japan Airlines and Thai Airways serve the Osaka Kansai market, while both these carriers (plus All Nippon Airways (ANA) and Delta Air Lines (DAL)) also operate between (BKK) and Narita.
October 2014: The continuing sluggish performance of Thailand’s commercial aviation industry has prompted a series of changes at Thai airlines, while the nation’s military government attempts to alter the image of a country that has lost the confidence of tourists owing to ongoing political unrest.
The latest move is a cancellation by Thai Airways International (TII) of its sole remaining Africa destination, Johannesburg. (TII) will cease its 3x-weekly flights to Johannesburg from January 2015.
The move comes as part of a call from new (TII) President Siwakiat Jayema for a -THB4 billion/-$126 million cost-cutting exercise. Siwakiat has also committed to cutting >-6,000 jobs at the flag carrier (TII) over the next 4 years.
Siwakiat is the 3rd President that (TII) has seen in a little >6 months. He took over from temporary President, Chokchai Panyayong in July, who replaced previous incumbent Sorajak Kasemsuvan in January, following the latter’s resignation in December last year.
The poor performance of (TII) (it reported a net loss of -THB7.7 billion in the second quarter) has been blamed on a general lack of confidence in Thailand as a tourist destination, plus endemic over-staffing at (TII).
Recent (IATA) Premium Traffic Monitor estimates point to a continuation of the downward trend in numbers, citing “significant falls in tourism and exports during recent months, when compared to a year ago.”
As a result, (TII) is not the only local carrier seeing a management revolving door. Thai low-cost carrier (LCC) Nok Air (NKA) recently announced that Montree Jumrieng and Suraphon Israngura Na Ayuthya would replace 2 existing board members, and that former (TII) executive, Chokchai Panyayong would also join (NKA). Last week, Nok Air (NKA) announced it would boost its holding in long-haul joint venture (JV) NokScoot (formed with Singapore (LCC) Scoot (SCT)) with an injection of $7.3 million as of late October.
(NKA) said this would increase its holding to 47.5% of the new Thai long-haul company operating out of Don Mueang International Airport. However, the original launch of NokScoot planned to see Scoot (SCT) hold 49% and Nok Air (NKA) 51%; this points to a dilution of the original division with a 3rd company, Pueannammitr carrying a crucial voting balance of shares.
Figures from AirAsia (ASW) also indicate that although its Thai AirAsia (THA) increased capacity out of its Don Mueang Thai base to 3.61 million seats in the 2nd quarter, compared to 2.9 million the previous year (a +23% increase), its load factors dropped -4 points from 82% LF to 78% LF as demand slackened.
“(THA) has lowered its average load factor estimate,” Thai AirAsia (THA) Commercial Operations Director Santisuk Klongchaiya said. He added that as a result, (THA) will delay the delivery of 3 airplanes set for this year, in line with the recent statement by AirAsia (ASW) (CEO) Tony Fernandes that “expansion is necessary, but we will never stretch ourselves.”
April 2015: News Item A-1: Thai AirAsia X (THX) is adding a 2nd daily flight between Bangkok and Seoul in October, indicating that Korea is allowing some new service by Thai carriers.
South Korea was one of the countries that imposed restrictions on airlines from Thailand following (ICAO) concerns about its safety oversight.
Thai AirAsia X (THX) says it followed the normal application procedures for the additional flight, and did not require special permission. (THX) began its 1st daily service on this route in June 2014, and says its load factor is averaging 83% LF.
News Item A-2: Japan's Civil Aviation Agency has agreed to temporarily lift a ban preventing Thailand-registered airlines from operating charter flights to Japan from April 11 to May 31, Thai Transport Minister, Air Chief Marshall Prajin Junthong said.
Citing safety concerns highlighted by an international audit, the agency late in March imposed a ban on Thai airlines from operating new charter and scheduled services to Japan.
Nearly 120,000 travellers seeking to go to Japan on flights operated by national carrier, Thai Airways International (TII), as well as long-haul, low-cost carriers (LCC)s like Thai AirAsiaX (THX) and NokScoot (NSC), had been expected to be affected by the ban.
Under the provisional lifting of the ban, airlines are not permitted to change the type of airplanes they have indicated they will operate, Prajin said. Scheduled flights to Japan will continue to operate as normal, he said.
Thailand's Department of Civil Aviation (DCA) aims to complete on April 10 the re-evaluation of 6 airlines' licences and will send the finding to Japan's Civil Aviation Agency, Voradech Hanprasert, Deputy Permanent Secretary at the Thai Transport Ministry, said.
The 6 included Thai Airways (TII), Thai AirAsiaX (THX), NokScoot (NSC), Jet Asia Airways (JSZ), Asia Atlantic Airlines (AAQ) and Asian Air (?).
NokScoot (NSC), a joint venture (JV) between Nok Air (NKA) and (SCT), a Singapore Airlines (SIA) subsidiary, is expected to be most affected, given it needs to delay launch of new scheduled flights to Japan, Voradech said.
The safety concern was raised in late March during an audit of the (DCA) by the Montreal-based International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO), which gave (DCA) a 90-day grace period to comply with international standards.
Voradech said the (DCA) has to improve its operations to meet a deadline in June, while Thai authorities will speed up the restructuring of the (DCA) and the amendment of regulations by October.
Over the next 2 months, the (DCA) will also re-evaluate all 41 licences it granted to airlines, starting with 28 carriers flying international routes, to ensure that its operations are in line with (ICAO) standards, Prajin, the Thai Transport Minister, said.
Thailand has struggled for almost a decade to comply with (ICAO) standards, the Minister has said.
May 2016: "Thai AirAsia X to Open New Muscat Route" by (ATW) Jeremy Torr, May 31, 2016.
Thailand-based long-haul low-cost carrier (LCC) Thai AirAsia X (THX) is to start new services to Muscat, Oman, from its base at Don Mueang International Airport, Bangkok.
The service will offer a 3x-weekly schedule using Airbus A330 aircraft and will start late June 2016. Thai AirAsia X (THX) claims it is the 1st (LCC) to launch direct flights from Muscat International Airport to Bangkok.
Thai AirAsia X (THX) (CEO) Nadda Buranasari said the new schedule would offer “great potential” for connectivity for tourists and other passengers into AirAsia (ASW)’s existing Asian regional network.
In 2015, some 85,000 tourists visited Thailand from Oman, according to figures from the Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT). A (TAT) spokesperson said the numbers were projected to rise around +10% per annum to give >100,000 Omani visitors to Thailand by 2017.
The move comes on the heels of recently announced (THX) expansion into Middle East destinations with its Tehran, Iran service.
(THX) operates a fleet of 6 Airbus A330 aircraft to >20 regional and 29 international destinations from its base at Don Mueang International.