Thai investors are set to launch five new airlines, pouring in a minimum of 3.85 billion baht. These carriers are poised to commence operations in 2024, aiming to tap into Thailand’s burgeoning aviation market, projected to be worth 320 billion baht next year.
According to the Nation Thailand report, Really Cool Airlines, P80 Air, Pattaya Airways, Siam Seaplane, and Landarch Airlines have all received an Air Operating Licence from the Civil Aviation Authority of Thailand (CAAT). To commence commercial flights, however, they still have to wait for the CAAT’s approval of their Air Operator Certificates (AOC).
One of the the above five Thai-owned carriers, Really Cool Airlines, expects to receive the AOC in January 2024, which will allow them to start operating the flights as early as in the second quarter.
Patee Sarasin, CEO of Really Cool Airlines, emphasized that during the first two years, Really Cool Airlines will focus on Asian routes, particularly to Japan, Hong Kong, Singapore, and Shanghai, operating four Airbus A330-300 aircraft. With an initial crew of 130, they will initially offer chartered flights from March to May before transitioning to regular flights and expanding to European markets.
“We would not compete with Thai Airways International on their regular routes but would focus on flights to secondary cities, which would also help further promote Thailand’s tourism industry,” Mr. Patee said.
On another note, P80 Air, a subsidiary of Thoresen Thai Agencies Pcl, projects getting its AOC in 8-9 months and commencing commercial operations in the last quarter of the next year. In its initial two years, P80 Air will focus on secondary Chinese cities, operating four Boeing B737-800 NG aircraft.
Pattaya Airways is also eyeing a launch in the final quarter of 2024, aiming to operate on both domestic routes within Thailand and across ASEAN destinations. The airline will start with cargo delivery using an ATR72 aircraft for the first three years and later add more planes to meet rising demand from e-commerce companies.
Meanwhile, Siam Seaplane is considering adding amphibian planes (Cessna Caravan 208 model) to its fleet to cater to high-end customers visiting seaside resorts and ports in Thailand. Their debut route will connect to Ko Lipe in Satun province, significantly shortening travel time to the island.
Lastly, Landarch Airlines intends to operate short chartered flights between major cities in southern provinces, beginning in April 2024, with its hub in Hat Yai, Songkhla province. They plan to acquire five Cessna C208 B, 12-seater aircraft in the first five years and expand the fleet to 15 planes, serving destinations in other provinces.
Original article: The Nation