Bangkok Airways is moving forward by adding new exclusive destinations in the Greater Mekong Region in a bid to strengthen its Bangkok gateway. By adding new destinations in the region, the regional carrier follows the injunction of Thailand’s government of PM Prayuth Chan-ocha who recently admonished Thai carriers to boost Bangkok connectivity as a major ASEAN hub.
Bangkok Airways President Puttipong Prasarttong-osoth indicated in a recent marketing presentation that “one of our directions for this year is to support the government’s policy on tourism promotions”.
The airline’s President indicated two major measures to follow the government’s request: the most spectacular one is the launching of new routes around the region. Starting with the opening of new routes such as Chiang Mai – Mae Hong Son, including exclusive new routes such as Bangkok – Danang and Bangkok-Phu Quoc (Vietnam), Koh Samui – Guangzhou, and, depending of government’s approval, the most expected Bangkok-Bagan, which would be the first international route to one of ASEAN most spectacular archaeological areas.
The opening of Bangkok-Bagan could have for the carrier the same positive effect that Bangkok-Siem Reap twenty years ago, when Bangkok Airways pioneered the route and then run a monopoly for over 15 years. Bangkok-Danang is another route which also might prove extremely popular as it will attract both leisure and business travellers. Danang has one of the largest concentration of luxury resorts in Vietnam while the city- the third largest in Vietnam- is an important economic hub. PG will open the route with four weekly flights from May.
Bangkok-Phu Quoc in Southern Vietnam will also boost the island’s appeal which is seen by the Vietnamese government as the country’s next resort destination. The route might however more difficult to promote than Bangkok-Bagan or Bangkok-Danang.
Other measures include also an increase in popular sectors such as Bangkok-Phnom Penh from 5 to 6 flights per day, Bangkok-Chiang Mai form 7 to 8 flights per day, Singapore-Samui from 1 to 2 daily frequencies as well as for Chiang Mai-Samui during high-season period.
Varong Israsena Na Ayudhya – Vice President-Sales indicated that “Bangkok Airways will concentrate on countries in South East Asia and North Asia such as Myanmar, Vietnam, Laos and China as we foresee notable economic growth and high travel demands for those countries, which prove to be among the most popular destinations for European and American tourists”.
The airline is looking also at promoting its network in Central and South America by being present at international travel shows such as ITB Berlin and World Travel Mart in London and by appointing General Sales Agent (GSA) in Latin American countries as well as in South Africa and Greece.