NokScoot has identified North Asia as the next region it plans to grow into, but this will depend on the lifting of restrictions placed after ICAO issued a significant safety concern (SSC) on Thailand in 2015.

Speaking to FlightGlobal at Routes Asia in Okinawa, NokScoot’s head of commercial Ng Ai-Ling says plans are underway to launch up to six charter flights to Tokyo Narita by 31 March.

“The SSC restrictions are entirely out of our hands and we need the relevant authorities to really pull up their socks,” she adds. “There is serious demand from Thailand, and this really had a big impact on our network and fleet planning.”

Once the restrictions have been lifted, the Bangkok Don Mueang-based long-haul, low-cost carrier intends to operate scheduled services to cities in Japan, before expadning into South Korea.

NokScoot also admits that “there has been a huge impact” on charter and scheduled flights to and from China as a result of the Thai government’s crackdown on low-value tourism. But despite the crackdown, which began in October last year, load factors for its China services still stands at “around 90%,” notes Ng.

To alleviate the situation, the airline is working with local tour agencies to offer “value for money” itineraries for Chinese tourists.

This year, the carrier will take a Boeing 777-200ER on lease by October, followed by two additional models in 2018. Flight Fleets Analyzer shows that NokScoot operates three 777-200ERs.

Source: Cirium Dashboard