Saturday, October 6, 2012

AirAsia moves to Don Mueang Airport

AirAsia has moved all of its operations in Bangkok from Suvarnabhumi International Airport to Don Mueang International Airport. Don Mueang International Airport is Bangkok's old airport and was closed in 2006 following the opening of Bangkok's new Suvarnabhumi Airport, before opening again after renovation on 24 March 2007. According to AirAsia they have moved because they are growing and in Don Mueang International Airport, there is more than enough space for our expansion plans of 48 Airbus A320s. But in fact, in 2012, to help ease congestion at Suvarnabhumi airport, the government of Thailand ordered all low-cost, chartered and non-connecting flights to relocate to Don Mueang International Airport.[1]

Air Asia began transferring its Airbus A320 fleet from Suvarnabhumi International Airport to Don Mueang International Airport on September 30th 2012.

AirAsia’s Group Chief Executive Officer, Tan Sri Tony Fernandes said:
“I am extremely happy with our move to Don Muang International Airport, which is probably Thailand’s biggest and first low cost airport. Operating out of low cost airports has always been something that we have been fighting long and hard for, and this is a first step towards a big change in the low-cost carrier industry in this region. Don Muang International Airport is fully ready to accommodate Thai AirAsia’s services and help them achieve the goals they have set. This is a perfect place for a low-cost airline to operate for many reasons. Less congestion and shorter taxi time will result in less fuel consumption and less delays.”[2]
Air Asia Cabin Crew
From October 2012, AirAsia cabin crew will welcome you from
Don Mueang Airport in your flights to/from Bangkok.
AirAsia has a page answering most common questions about their move. According to[2],   AirAsia flights with flight codes FD, AK and QZ will operate over 160 flights per day from Don Muang International Airport catering to both domestic and international routes, connecting passengers to over 77 destinations across Thailand, Asia and Australia. All of AirAsia’s flight codes and schedules will remain unchanged by the move to Don Muang.

Don Mueang International Airport
Where is Don Mueang International Airport?
Image - AirAsia
The return of Thai AirAsia to Don Mueang International Airport is expected to be a boon for nearby businesses, especially three-star hotels, which could enjoy a windfall from foreign travellers connecting to flights at Bangkok's old airport.[3] In addition to Thai AirAsia, Don Mueang Airport serves Nok Air, Orient Thai and chartered flights, he said, adding that Don Mueang will become another connecting hub for the region. Don Mueang will handle at least 12 million passengers per year.[4]

Suphot Prakitjanuruk, general manager of the Amari Don Muang Airport Bangkok hotel, said the return of AirAsia to Don Mueang would bring more individual passengers to hotels. However, they will not help boost his occupancy rate much because the hotel has enjoyed a high rate of more than 90 per cent in the past few years.  
The hotel outlook next year will be brighter if more airlines choose to switch to Don Mueang. Amari spent almost Bt100 million on renovating facilities, from restaurants to a bridge to the terminal to welcome the full functioning of Terminal 1. Its room charge is about Bt1,500 without advanced booking. [3]
[1] - Don Mueang International Airport

[2] - AirAsia Moves to Don Muang Airport in Bangkok
[3] - Airport revival boon to hotels
[4] - Low-cost carriers start launching from Don Mueang

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