PENANG - AirAsia’s Thai network continues to spread with the inaugural flight of AirAsia’s Bangkok-Macau route scheduled for July 5. The airline’s CEO Tony Fernandes said there were no serious obstacles to the expansion of its Thai operations.
“We’ve gone from two aircraft to 18 aircraft in the space of two and a half years.
“Our Thai operation only has 4 aircraft at the moment but the population of Thailand is 70 million compared with 24 million in Malaysia - where we have 14 aircraft.
“Are we going to be allowed to expand? I think most definitely; we have received strong support from both the Malaysian and Thai governments.”
Fernandez said the budget carrier was looking at around five more destinations by the end of this year with Thai operations focusing on destinations in Indochina and southern China.
Tassapon Bijleveld, CEO of AirAsia’s Thai operations said the airline was interested in direct routes to key cities in Vietnam. However, negotiations with the
Vietnamese government remained ongoing and no dates had been set.
“We will fly to every destination we can fly. If there is potential we will introduce our low fares and ignite the market,” Tassapon said, adding that the airline needed to carry out more staff training to keep up with the airline’s rapid expansion.
“We are also looking at increasing flights on many of our domestic routes, including Udon Thani and Hat Yai, but of course the proper training is a key factor in our rate of expansion as well as the number of aircraft available,” he said.
Thai AsiaAsia anticipates it will have seven 737-300s by the end of this year.