Malaysian low cost carrier Malindo Air launched last December a direct service from Hat Yai, Thailand largest city in the South with both Kuala Lumpur and Penang. It is the first time that Hat yai is directly linked to Penang. The airline flies to Subang airport in KL which is closer to town than KLIA. Both routes are served by four weekly services. ATR72 aircraft will operate the Hat Yai service.
Timetable have been set as followed:
Kuala Lumpur Subang – Hat Yai
OD590 SZB0950 – 1020HDY ATR x246
OD593 HDY1310 – 1530SZX ATR x246
Penang – Hat Yai
OD592 PEN1250 – 1240HDY ATR x246
OD591 HDY1040 – 1230PEN ATR x246
Last November, Jetstar already launched a daily frequency to Singapore with an Airbus A320, in competition with Singaporean budget carrier Scoot. Thai AirAsia meanwhile is also offering regular charter flights out of Hat Yai to Chengdu and Chongqing during the entire month of February.
In 2017, Hat Yai International Airport welcomed 4.37 million passengers, representing a growth of 9.06% over 2016. The airport recorded its fastest growth on international routes. Last year, total international passengers reached 284,000 passengers, a jump of 12.87%. In 2018, international traffic should again be a major drive to the airport’s growth and will pass for the first time the 300,000 passengers’ mark.
However, international traffic still remains small compared to other airports in Thailand. Passengers traffic on international routes represented in 2017 only 6.5% of total passengers output. By comparison, Chiang Mai international passengers represented a market share of 22.3% in 2017 while international traffic generated 55% of total passengers traffic in Phuket.