Lao Airlines Adds New Routes
Lao Airlines plans to increase flights on some of its domestic and international sectors and add more planes to its fleet, aiming to upgrade its level of service.
The airline plans to increase flights between Vientiane and Oudomxay, Bokeo and Luang Namtha provinces from the current three or four times a week to daily flights beginning in October. The ticket price will remain the same.
The news was reported by Lao Airlines’ Commercial Department at a business partnerships meeting held in Vientiane last week.
The frequency of flights between Vientiane and Luang Prabang, Champassak, Savannakhet and Xieng Khuang provinces will remain the same.
The airline also plans to add an extra flight on its Luang Prabang-Bangkok sector, and will increase flights on the Luang Prabang-Hanoi sector from one to two flights a day, said the department’s Director General, Phoutthasone Vannachack.
New for the airline will be flights between Vientiane and Phnom Penh, and between Phnom Penh and Ho Chi Minh. Lao Airlines’ planes will replace Vietnam Airlines on these sectors.
The airline will end charter flights between Vientiane and Incheon, Republic of Korea, in September, but will begin operating regular flights on that route in October, Phoutthasone said.
Established in 1976, the national carrier’s fleet currently comprises 14 aircraft, namely four A320s, four ATR72-500s, two ATR72-600s and four MA60s.
Next year, the airline plans to add two more ATR72-600s to its fleet. The first is expected to arrive in Laos in March and the second in August, Phoutthasone said.
In 2015, Lao Airlines plans to buy two more A321s, which it will deploy as needed, depending on passenger demand.
The airline transports passengers and cargo. Each year, the number of passengers increases in parallel with the country’s economic growth and closer regional and global integration.
In 2008, about 358,000 people travelled on Lao Airlines, rising to about 365,000 in 2009. In 2010, the figure rose to about 412,000, climbing to over 531,000 in 2011, while in 2012 the number of passengers had risen to more than 658,000.
Lao Airlines has code share arrangements with Thai Airways and Vietnam Airlines, and interline agreements with 20 airlines including China Airlines, China Eastern, Korean Air, EVA Air, Silk Air, Qantas, Hahn Air and Bangkok Airways.
Last week’s meeting was attended by Lao Airlines President Dr Somphone Douangdara, a representative from the Tourism Promotion Ass ociation, and ticket agents.
At the close of the meeting, the airline presented awards to the top ten ticket sales agencies.
Each year, Lao Airlines holds partnership meetings to discuss various aspects of its business operations and find solutions for service improvement in line with customer needs.