Competition is coming back between Jakarta and Bangkok as low cost carrier Thai Lion Air is reopening the route -closed in the middle of 2014, just six months after opening the route. The airline will be in competition with Garuda Indonesia, Thai Airways International and Indonesia AirAsia.
Thai Lion is in fact shifting its expansion strategy from the domestic to the international sector. It currently operates ut of Bangkok Don Mueang to ten domestic and only three international cities – Jinan and Taiyuan in China PRC (on a seasonal basis) as well as Singapore. Sister company Malindo Air took over the Bangkok-Kuala Lumpur route.
Jakarta and Medan were served briefly but abandoned due to Thailand political instability in 2014. In 2015, Indonesia economy encountered turbulences with outbound demand from Indonesia contracting. The carrier will resume the Jakarta-Bangkok route from May 13, offering a daily flight with a promotional fare starting at US$50 one way. The carrier is back to the route it pioneered in 2013 as markets are improving with more Indonesians and Thais travelling again abroad. Thai LionAir will also benefit in Jakarta of the vast network of its sister company Lion Air, which is Indonesia’s largest domestic carrier.
The airline recently announced to aim to triple the total number of its international operation with a total of 10 destinations until the end of the year representing 100 weekly departures. In the next months to come, Thai Lion Air is due to open routes to Yangon, Ho Chi Minh City and Hanoi as well as Beijing. The latter would be served from both Bangkok and Chiang Mai.
All the routes are due to be served with brand new Boeing B737NG. The carrier is looking also to operate a route between Bangkok and Guangzhou as well as between Surat Thani and Shenzhen.