Airports of Thailand confirmed the rumour that Thai AirAsia asked to open a second air gateway in Bangkok by flying again out of Suvarnabhumi airport, next to Don Mueang, its main base in the Kingdom.
Airports of Thailand (AOT)’s revenue committee has approved Thai AirAsia’s plan to start flying from Suvarnabhumi airport, AOT president Nitinai Sirismatthakarn announced on July 16. The authority confirmed that Thai AirAsia has been given the green light to operate from Suvarnabhumi, in addition to its existing hub at Don Mueang airport, starting with 24 domestic flights a day to tourist destinations such as Surat Thani, Chiang Mai and Phuket. The plan is now due to be submitted to the AOT board for consideration on July 29, he added.
Thai AirAsia is Thailand’s largest carrier at Bangkok Don Mueang International Airport, the main gateway for low cost airlines flying to the Thai capital. Despite heavy losses and uncertainties over its future, the airline’s management believes that such a move to Suvarnabhumi would be a good opportunity, especially when considering Thai Airways International’s current debacle. The low cost giant foresees a great potential for domestic routes out of Suvarnabhumi, especially helping to offer more connections for Thai provinces from the country’s biggest intercontinental air gateway. The arrival of Thai AirAsia would be a return for the air carrier, which was forced to move following the opening of the airport in 2006. However, it moved back to Don Mueang by 2008.
The move would also jeopardy the expansion of Thai Vietjet, the subsidiary low cost airline of VietJet. Thai Vietjet is currently the only true LCA flying out of Suvarnabhumi, linking domestically seven cities. It also used to fly a handful of international routes prior to the COVID-19 pandemic. Thai Vietjet however feels ready to resume its international operation and will even expand by next year with 11 aircraft being added to its fleet, including new destinations.