Bangkok Airways outlines expansion plan

Singapore
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Thai carrier Bangkok Airways is aiming to carry 3.6 million passengers this year and bring in baht (Bt)1.6 billion in profit, up by 33% year on year.

To do so, the carrier wants to increase the frequency of existing routes and expand its network through codesharing opportunities.

"Our priority is to add frequency on many of our domestic and international routes that show high demand. We're working with more airlines to codeshare and strengthen our network," said its president, Puttipong Prasarttong-Osoth. "However, we will have to adapt our strategies to the global economic situation and fuel prices."

The airline wants to add a New Delhi service to its network, possibly "in time for the winter schedule 2013 when new planes join the fleet".

While it has started codesharing with Finnair and Singapore Airlines' regional subsidiary, SilkAir, it hopes to also codeshare with Malaysia Airlines before the start of the summer 2012 schedule.

In addition, the airline will launch a daily Koh Samui-Kuala Lumpur service on 31 March and increase the frequency of its daily Koh Samui-Hong Kong and Bangkok-Lampang services. The Koh Samui-Hong Kong service will be operated 10 times weekly from 31 March, while the Bangkok-Lampang service will be operated 12 times weekly from 25 March.

It also plans to increase the frequency of its Bangkok-Chiang Mai service from five to six flights daily and its Bangkok-Phuket service from six to seven flights daily from 25 March.

The airline's profit rose by 57% to Bt1.22 billion in 2011 and carried 3.1 million passengers in 2011, a 17% increase from a year ago.

This year, Bangkok Airways is scheduled to receive one Airbus A319 and two A320s.