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Going west: The aviation industry is in a tailspin

Nok Air Drops Phuket-Bangkok Flights, Sacks Staff

Friday, July 25, 2008
NOK AIR is cutting its daily flights between Bangkok and Phuket from the end of July, along with services to three other destinations.

About 20 Nok Air staff at the airport on Phuket are also going to lose their jobs as the aviation industry crisis, fuelled by rising oil costs, impacts on Thai travel nationwide.

Inevitably, the cutbacks will affect tourism on Phuket and before long, investment on the island in property and resort construction.

Nok Air, the budget arm of Thai Airways, is also cutting flights from Bangkok to Chiang Rai, U-bonratchatanee and Krabi.

It will retain services from Bangkok to U-donthani, Chiang Mai and Haad Yai.

A Nok Air spokeswoman blamed the cuts on oil prices and the general economic downturn. Nok Air has been flying the route since February 10, 2006.

The disappearance of the Nok Air flights leaves only Air Asia and Thai Airways operating on the Bangkok-Phuket route. [Bangkok Airways is also still flying the route twice daily, a reader points out]

Thai Airways maintains about 10 flights on the route a day, with Air Asia having six flights.

Another budget airline that serviced Bangkok-Phuket, One-Two-Go, has just been suspended from flying by the Department of Civil Aviaition for 30 days, perhaps longer.

The dramatic reduction in cheap air flights is likely to put many local travellers back on buses, force some international visitors to stay in Bangkok, and drive many to seek alternative holiday destinations to Phuket.

The Nok Air cancellations add to the tale of woe for tourism as the airline industry worldwide undergoes a shattering transformation.

While travellers with bookings will not be dissuaded from coming over the next few months, numbers are likely to fall away soon as the international downturn spreads.

Australians, for example, are largely unaffected and still able to travel, although rising costs will affect them, too.

In Europe, though, the knock-on effects of the banking and lending crisis in the US are already rumbling through the economies of many countries.

Holidays, especially on long-haul flights with the cost of seats rising, are something fewer people can afford.

The only real positive from the crisis is that it may reduce airline flights sufficiently to relieve the pressure on Phuket airport as it undergoes a major expansion to cope with increasing numbers of tourists.

If and when those increasing numbers of tourists will begin arriving is now the question that nobody can answer.

All You Need To Know:

Signs are not good for Phuket's tourism and property industries as airlines throttle back for a rough passage through darkening clouds. Embattled One Two Go CEO sees a silver lining; Flower show a bright spot.

Airline Setbacks Will Slow Phuket, Too

The message coming from the real estate industry on Phuket is that the outlook has never been more promising. This is a surefire indication that sales are slow and now is the time to set your own price

Buy Phuket Property Now At Bargain Prices

This green season on Phuket will be an old fashioned low season because of inflation and falling visitor numbers. Yet new brands continue to arrive and existing resorts are expanding.

Phuket Suffers: Tourists Down, Inflation Up

The Director General of Thailand's Department of Civil Aviation has delivered a strongly critical report following the department's investigation of the One Two Go airline and its parent, Orient Thai.

DCA Report Lashes One Two Go on Safety

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Thursday November 23, 2017
Horizon Karon Beach Resort & Spa

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