Two New Discount Airlines Enter Thai Market
Dec 27, 2019

Two new low-cost carriers will enter the Thai market n 2020, further fueling the growth of low-cost carriers in the region and presenting another challenge to ailing national carrier Thai Airways.

The new budget airlines, Thai Summer Airways and Thai Eastar Jet, both have received their air operating licenses from the Civil Aviation Authority of Thailand and are now requested to commence commercial operations within a year, Bangkok Post wrote.

Both carriers are still yet to receive their air operator certificates as final authorisation which is expected for spring next year.

Thai Eastar Jet is a joint venture between local Thai investors and South Korean low-cost-carrier Eastar Jet. It has so far one 2010-built Boeing 737-800 in its fleet, formerly operated by Air China. The first commercial service is expected to be between Bangkok and Kaohsiung in Taiwan, while the company has also plans for South Korea.

Thai Summer Airways has Thai and Chinese investors and will be based at U-Tapao International airport near Pattaya. The carrier said it will begin operations with Boeing 737-800s and will focus on building its network within East Asia, Southeast Asia and South Asia. Likely destinations are China, Macau, Taiwan, South Korea, Japan, India and Sri Lanka.

The market entrance of the new budget airlines adds to the ferocious local competition from aggressive low-cost carriers for Thai Airways which is struggling to adapt to the changing market environment. The national airline is currently reviewing its operations to reduce persistent financial losses as it faces possible closure. In October, the Thai Airways president said the airline was facing a crisis and that very little had been done to avert it. He cited a variety of factors as contributing to the airline’s woes – a high Thai baht, unsustainable routes and high operating costs.