Thai AirAsia grounds Bangkok-New Delhi service
Budget airline Thai AirAsia (TAA) is pulling out of the highly contested Bangkok-New Delhi route in a retreat aimed at rationalising operations.
Chief executive Tassapon Bijleveld yesterday blamed high operating costs
and spiralling fuel prices for the suspension of the daily service.
The withdrawal will begin with a cutback to four flights a week on Feb 14 from seven now and a complete suspension on March 24.
TAA became the first low-cost carrier to operate the Thailand-India sector in December 2010, with flights from the Thai capital to New Delhi and Kolkata.
TAA’s announcement of axing the Bangkok-New Delhi service came a week after its affiliated long-haul low-cost carrier AirAsia X decided to end flights from Kuala Lumpur to Gatwick airport in London and Orly in Paris.
Azran Osman-Rani, AirAsia X’s chief executive, said visa restrictions for travel between India and Malaysia and an increase in airport and handling charges in India forced the withdrawal.
AirAsia X plans to focus on its core markets in Australia, China, Taiwan, Japan and South Korea, opening new services and stepping up frequency.
While Mr Tassapon insisted India is a priority destination for TAA, he said any Indian route must allow for low fares.
He stressed that TAA’s daily Bangkok-Kolkata service remains intact.
Dropping the Bangkok-New Delhi…
Full story from Bangkok Post at http://goo.gl/bi6q8
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