Lufthansa low cost affiliate Eurowings is arriving from next week in Bangkok with the opening of a twice-weekly connection to Cologne/Bonn International airport. The airline is also launching two flights a week between Cologne and Phuket.
The connection is the first flight ever between Thailand capital and the German city, home to a population of a million inhabitants and gateway to a region with some 11 million inhabitants. The airline will put in service a 310-seat Airbus A330-200 and is confident of the success of the new route.
According to comments of Christian Hein, Eurowings senior vice-president for sales to the Bangkok Post, intercontinental low cost flights will be experimental. If the model is not economically sustainable, Eurowings could withdraw from the market after a year.
Eurowings is not the only low-cost airline to venture into the long-haul business from Thailand. Since 2014, Scandinavian carrier Norwegian Air offers a daily frequency between Bangkok and the three Northern capitals of Copenhagen, Oslo and Stockholm. Norwegian Air offers a monthly capacity of over 10,000 seats.
Jet Star is the third carrier offering intercontinental frequencies with flights from Bangkok to Melbourne as well as flights from Phuket to both Melbourne and Sydney. Two other long haul carriers Thai AirAsia X and NokScoot operate only within Asia for the time being. Both airlines operate an extensive network to China, Japan, Seoul and Taipei.
However, both Thailand-based carriers could in the longer term venture into Australia or serve some European cities. For the time being, both Nokscoot and Thai AirAsia X announced to freeze their expansion until safety issues are solved within the Thai Civil Aviation.