AirAsia eyes more regional routes

AirAsia eyes more regional routes

Thai AirAsia wants to add services from Asian cities to Phuket and Chiang Mai over the next two years.

Thai AirAsia plans to add more flights, over the next two years, linking cities in neighbouring countries with Phuket and Chiang Mai, according to the airline's CEO, Tassapon Bijleveld

"The best option is to add services to these two Thai destinations from regional airports where we already serve from Bangkok," said Mr Tassapon.

He said there was potential from Chinese cities. He cited the popular Phuket-Hong Kong route as an example of what could be achieved, adding similar services could be established from Guangzhou, Shenzhen and Vietnam.

However, the airline is still studying feasibility. Chiang Mai would probably get services from southern China.

Currently, beside the main hub at Suvarnabhumi, Thai AirAsia offers a single regional service from Phuket to Singapore.

From Bangkok the airline flies to a variety of cities that are not more than a three-hour and 30-minute flight away. It wants to expand services out of Bangkok to Indian cities and some other points in China.

This year, Mr Tassapon targets 5.1 million passengers up from 4.2 million in 2008.

"We are not afraid of a crisis, as we can work our way out of it using marketing tools. What is more worrisome, is the fact we  cannot control oil prices."