Thai long-haul low-cost carrier NokScoot is eyeing service to Honolulu in the future, and plans to operate the flights with shareholder Scoot’s Boeing 787s.
Nok Air chief executive Patee Sarasin, however, thinks it could be another two years before the airline arrives in the Aloha State.
“Honolulu is a destination, I believe the Thai people will love it,” he says at the Boyd Group International Aviation Forecast Summit in Las Vegas. “Honoulu is an 11-hour direct flight from Bangkok.”
Sarasin tells Flightglobal that NokScoot could operate its Boeing 777-200s to Honolulu, but will prefer to deploy Scoot’s 787s. NokScoot is a joint venture between Nok Air and Singaporean low-cost carrier Scoot.
Scoot operates a fleet of seven 787s and has orders for 13 more, Flightglobal’s Ascend Fleets shows.
NokScoot will operate the Honolulu flights from its base at Bangkok Don Mueang, says Sarasin.
He also raises the possibility of partnering with Hawaiian Airlines. “We are going to talk with them, they can take passengers from us on to Los Angeles.”
NokScoot’s expansion plans hit a roadblock recently when ICAO placed a “red flag” on Thailand’s aviation regulators after the country failed to meet a deadline to resolve safety concerns found in an audit. This led to Japan and South Korea restricting new flights from Thailand, impeding NokScoot’s plans to begin service there.
Sarasin says the airline continues to work with Thai authorities on the issues, and hopes that the red flag will be lifted by the end of the year. In the meantime, the airline plans to start charter flights to Tokyo Narita in October since scheduled flights are currently prohibited, he says.