Thai AirAsia will inaugurate a daily flight from Bangkok (Don Mueang Airport) to Luang Prabang in Lao PDR effective 24 March.
Speaking at a press conference, Tuesday, the airline’s CEO, Tassapon Bijleveld, said the upcoming service was the carrier first endeavour in Lao PDR.
In the past, authorities rejected applications by low-cost airlines to fly to Luang Prabang. The country also opted out of the ASEAN Open Skies agreement, apparently to protect its national airline, at the expense of its fledging tourism industry that has called for more flights.
“The new service will help encourage tourism in the region …the Luang Prabang service will complete Thai AirAsia’s network in the (Mekong),” the airline’s CEO explained.
“We currently have services to two major destinations each in Cambodia (Phnom Penh and Siem Reap), Myanmar (Yangon and Mandalay) and Vietnam (Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City)… we hope Laos will follow this pattern…after Luang Prabang there is potential to open a route to Vientiane, the capital city.”
According to Lao PDR’s Ministry of Information, Culture and Tourism, there were 4.3 million international tourist arrivals to the country, last year, up 4.88% from 4.1 million in 2014. The trips generated USD670 million in revenue.
Thai nationals represented the biggest market followed by Vietnamese and Chinese.
In 2014, 2.04 million Thai tourists travelled to Laos, down marginally by 0.76% from 2.05 million visits in 2013.
AirAsia’s Fly-Thru service, opens travel to ASEAN destinations, connecting Thailand to seven countries in ASEAN with 15 routes and 12 destinations.
The airline sets a one-way promotional fare from Bangkok to Luang Prabang at THB990. The fare includes airport tax and surcharges. Booking must be made by 14 February for travel 24 March to 5 February, next year.
Please book your ticket at www.airaisa.com or contact one of these official agents: