More regional flights on the horizon for Koh Samui

KOH SAMUI, which welcomed SilkAir’s inaugural service from Singapore today, looks set on receiving more regional flights.

SilkAir chief executive Marvin Tan said the airline is hoping to increase the frequency of its new direct Singapore-Samui service from three flights per week to five from year-end.

Tan said a healthy demand for the route would allow SilkAir to operate at a high load factor from the start, with passengers coming from all markets, both from its own and Singapore Airlines networks.

SilkAir uses an Airbus A319 aircraft on the route.

Bangkok Airways runs its once-daily Singapore-Samui service with the same type of aircraft at a 75 per cent load factor, but did not have enough planes to expand its frequency, said its president, Captain Puttipong Prasarttong-Osoth.

However, the airline will be receiving two new A319 aircraft within the next five months, and it plans to use the expanded fleet to boost access to Koh Samui from other regional markets.

Captain Puttipong said from the next summer timetable, Bangkok Airways would be launching a new daily Samui-Kuala Lumpur service and would also be boosting the Samui-Hong Kong service from one to two flights daily.

Koh Samui is currently served by Bangkok Airways, with about 30 flights daily from domestic and regional destinations and Thai Airways International with two flights daily from Bangkok. From Kuala Lumpur, Firefly Airlines operates four flights per week and Berjaya Air two flights per week.

By Sirima Eamtako

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