Thai AirAsia will open several new locations in 2018 and add additional flights to a number of popular services, in response to the growing number of visitors to Thailand.
The budget airline carried a total of 19.8 million passengers in 2017, roughly half of whom were foreigners, predominantly from East Asia. Europeans made up 24% of the seat capacity, although around 64% were customers from China and ASEAN. This year, the airline has set a target of 23.2 million passengers and appears to be on course to meet its goals; between January and March passenger numbers reached 10.6 million, representing 15% spike compared to the previous year’s figures.
In order to meet its targets Thai AirAsia will raise its capacity by adding an additional three aircraft to its fleet, bringing the total number of aircraft to 62. Increased flight frequency is also slated for India routes such as Chennai, with the schedule due to expand from from five to seven flights each week. The airline is also considering an expansion of its domestic network, opening four or five new destinations. Locations muted in the move include Hua Hin, Mae Hong Son and Phetchabun. Earlier in the year, Thai AirAsia started operating seven new routes from Don Mueang airport to Ranong, Johor Bahru and Chengdu, as well as from Phuket to Macao and Kunming and from Chiang Mai to Udon Thani.
With annual targets for passenger numbers already ahead of schedule, Thai AirAsia looks set to keep pace with the rapidly growing popularity of Thailand as a holiday destination for international travellers.