CHIANG RAI – No-frills carrier Thai Lion Air (TLA) will start a daily flight to Chiang Rai next month from its hub at Bangkok’s Don Mueang airport.
TLA, part of Indonesia’s Lion Air Group, will be the latest airline connecting to the northern city to tap increased travel demand in the coming cool season.
The airline has yet to inform Chiang Rai airport of the exact launch date, which is subject to the arrival of additional brand-new Boeing 737-900ER jetliners, airport executives said.
The introduction of the Don Mueang-Chiang Rai service represents another network expansion after a lull in the first half of this year caused by the political unrest.
TLA revived its growth plan in an August announcement in response to improved post-coup travel demand in the fourth quarter with the start last month of five domestic routes ? four from its Don Mueang base to Udon Thani, Krabi, Phuket and Surat Thani and one from Hat Yai to Udon Thani.
The airline is due to take delivery of two brand-new Boeing 737-900ERs, raising the total fleet of the same type of jet to six.
TLA has been operating jet services on its Bangkok-Chiang Mai, Bangkok-Hat Yai and Bangkok-Jakarta flights.
It also operates frequent scheduled flights from Hat Yai to Surat Thani and Hua Hin as well as Medan, Indonesia, all using an ATR 72-600 turboprops.
Several airlines already flying to Chiang Rai are increasing their frequencies to the city in the upcoming cool-season programme.
Nok Air and Thai AirAsia will each raise the frequency of their flights to the northern city to five a day from four now, while Bangkok Airways will add an extra flight to its present two.
Thai Airways International and subsidiary THAI Smile will maintain three daily flights, while Kan Air will likewise stand pat with four flights a week.