Author Topic: Nakhon Ratchasima Airport to reopen?  (Read 5284 times)

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Offline Johnnie F.

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Nakhon Ratchasima Airport to reopen?
« on: January 29, 2010, 08:42:40 PM »
Govt to re-open abandoned airports

The Ministry of Transport will next week call a meeting of representatives from the Industry Ministry, airline operators, Tourism Authority of Thailand and Traffic Policy and Planning Office to discuss ways to utilize the abandoned airports in several provinces.

“The meeting will discuss how the state can maximise benefits from existing resources. We will look into the problems and then make a report and recommendations to the Joint Public and Private Committee and the cabinet for consideration,” Transport Minister Sohpon Zarum said on Friday.

Mr Sophon has ordered the Traffic Policy and Planning Office to make a study of which provincial airports have the highest development potential. The Civil Aviation Department will be responsible for the development of the high potential airports for commercial use to generate income for the government.

The airports with no commercial potential will be handed over to the air force for military use, which would be better than abandoning them.

Of the 28 provincial airports under the supervision of the Civila Aviation Department, only 13 are being used regularly for commercial flights by airlines. They include Udon Thani, Ubon Ratchathani, Khon Kaen, Surat Thani and Krabi. Six of them provide services for some commercial flights from time to time, and the remaining nine are not used by any airlines.

“Some of them have been used for dry-cropping or grazing,” the minister said.

Bangkok Post

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Offline dirtydog (†2012)

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Re: Nakhon Ratchasima Airport to reopen?
« Reply #1 on: January 29, 2010, 09:04:45 PM »
Trouble is Bangkok is the hub of Thailand and Korat is to close to justify opening the Korat airport again, with the amount of time needed to check in, board a flight, and fly to Korat you could have done the journey by coach already.

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Re: Nakhon Ratchasima Airport to reopen?
« Reply #2 on: January 29, 2010, 10:06:50 PM »
DD, you're right that the trouble is that Bangkok is the hub of Thailand but not that Korat is too close to Bangkok to justify opening the Korat airport again. Part of the problem, in my opinion, is that, as far as I recall, all flights went through Bangkok. If you wanted to go to Phuket or Chiang Mai, you had to go to Bangkok first.  This added to the time and cost of the journey. Direct flights to U-tapao, Chaing Mai, Phuket etc, and perhaps Hua Hin, would make the airport more attractive to travellers, as would a regular bus and train service from the airport to the city (and beyond).

Offline Johnnie F.

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Re: Nakhon Ratchasima Airport to reopen?
« Reply #3 on: February 06, 2010, 06:28:47 PM »
Private management of airports

Transport Minister Sophon Saram has ordered state agencies to study ways of permitting a private company to manage upcountry airports following a proposal from Bangkok Airways.

He made the remark yesterday after chairing a meeting of the agencies gathered to discuss problems in managing domestic airports, especially airports with no regular flights, as well as the problems of domestic airlines.

He said the ministry had to examine the legal aspects of allowing private companies to manage domestic airports. If it is determined to be permissible, the ministry will invite interested companies to come up with proposals.

At present, the Aviation Department operates upcountry airports, which have racked up financial losses.

The ministry plans to ask Airports of Thailand to step in and take over management.

The department has hired PricewaterhouseCoopers FAS to study how to tackle financial losses in the operation of upcountry airports.

Bangkok Airways has since 1992 been offering to manage all of the department's airports, but its proposal has yet to be considered.

There are 10 airports upcountry with no regular flights: Tak, Phetchabun, Loei, Nakhon Ratchasima, Nan, Mae Sariang, Surin, Roi Et, Chumphon and Ranong.

The department has already cut airport fee and landing fee to attract small airlines to operate at the airports. It is ready to further cut or waive the fees to help them reduce their operation cost.

The Nation
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Offline Baby Farts

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Re: Nakhon Ratchasima Airport to reopen?
« Reply #4 on: February 07, 2010, 08:16:00 AM »
Many years ago I used to use this airport exclusively.  I sure hope they re-open it.

Offline Johnnie F.

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Re: Nakhon Ratchasima Airport to reopen?
« Reply #5 on: March 16, 2010, 08:52:10 AM »


Two to fly home skies

The Department of Civil Aviation has granted licences to two start-up commercial airlines to operate on domestic routes.

Nakhon Chiangmai Air and Legacy Air received approval after meeting regulatory requirements, including paid-up capital of 200 million baht each, said Wuthichai Singhamanee, director-general of the DCA.

The two Thai-owned licensees were told to start flying "without delay" as the DCA aimed to ensure they wanted licences to begin airline businesses - rather than for other purposes as some applicants have done in the past.

Nakhon Chiangmai Air and Legacy Air are expected to take to the skies in the next few months on inter-provincial routes, most of which have not been served by any carriers, he said.

Legacy Air is expected to use Bangkok's Don Mueang Airport as its hub for flights to Mae Sot, Nan, Lampang, Nakhon Ratchasima, Chumphon and Ranong.

Nakhon Chiangmai Air will use Chiang Mai International Airport as its hub for flights to Udon Thani, Ubon Ratchathani, Phitsanulok and Nakhon Ratchasima - and probably Burma at a later stage.

Both airlines will use turboprops: the French-made ATR-72 for Nakhon Chiangmai Air and the Swedish-made Saab 340 for Legacy.

Mr Wuthichai said the department agreed to issue licences to the two companies in accordance with state policy to re-establish air links with several provinces following the demise of PB Air late last year.

The previous start-up airline licence was issued to the privately Thai-owned Happy Airways.

The new carrier began flights last October from its Phuket hub to Hat Yai and Langkawi using a Saab 340A turboprop that can carry 34 passengers.

Bangkok Post
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Offline Johnnie F.

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Re: Nakhon Ratchasima Airport to reopen?
« Reply #6 on: March 25, 2010, 04:48:45 PM »
New Thai airlines prepare for take off

Two start-up airlines intend to offer services on domestic routes in Thailand later this year, but they are waiting for the political scene to stablise first.

Nakhon Chiang Mai Air was granted a license by the Department of Civil Aviation to operate from Chiang Mai to destinations in the North and Northeast Thailand such as Udon Thani, Ubon Ratchathani and Phitsanulok. It will use an ATR-72, according to the DCA. None of its executives could be contacted for a comment.

Legacy Air gained rights to offer services on domestic secondary routes in Thailand, but it is hesitating on a launch date until the political situation clears.

Legacy Air was granted a license, 8 March, to provide charter service, using a Swedish Saab-340 aircraft with 33 seats. The airline also plans to offer non-stop services from Bangkok to Mae Sot, in western Thailand and Lampang in the North. It also hopes to start a circular route, Bangkok-Nakhon Ratchasima-Chiang Mai. Legacy Air has a registered capital of Bt25 million

Legacy Air owner, Puchong Supsomboon, told TTR Weekly: “We have an aircraft and are ready start services, but the ongoing political unrest is a setback.”

Department of Civil Aviation requires both airlines to start commercial services within one year after the license is granted.

Mr Puchong said he will start with domestic charter services and graduate to scheduled services on the mentioned routes once the charter operations are profitable.

Mae Sot and Lampang will be served by four weekly flights, while Bangkok-Nakhon Ratchasima, is ear marked for three services a week.

“We will breakeven on scheduled services and make a profit from the charter flights, but the schedule routes are part of our agreement with the DCA,” said Mr Puchong.

He will need 25 passengers a flight to reach breakeven, with a fare set at about. Bt2,000 per sector.

Mr Puchong is not new to the aviation business. He had a stake in Progress Multi-trade that operated Cambodia’s PMT Airlines. In June 2007, one of its aircraft crashed on the approach to Sihanoukville killing all 22 passengers on board the AN-24. The company still has two aircraft based in Singapore available for charter services.

TTRweekly
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Offline Johnnie F.

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Re: Nakhon Ratchasima Airport to reopen?
« Reply #7 on: April 01, 2010, 10:18:02 PM »
IsaanAir is the new airline to fly Korat:


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Offline dirtydog (†2012)

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Re: Nakhon Ratchasima Airport to reopen?
« Reply #8 on: April 01, 2010, 11:16:51 PM »
Pretty sure he wouldn't have done the interview had he known this little snippet would be added to it :)

Quote
Mr Puchong is not new to the aviation business. He had a stake in Progress Multi-trade that operated Cambodia’s PMT Airlines. In June 2007, one of its aircraft crashed on the approach to Sihanoukville killing all 22 passengers on board the AN-24. The company still has two aircraft based in Singapore available for charter services.

Offline Johnnie F.

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Re: Nakhon Ratchasima Airport to reopen?
« Reply #9 on: August 19, 2010, 10:29:53 PM »
Happy Air adds second base in Thailand's Isan region

BANGKOK, 18 August 2010 – Happy Air has established a new base in Nakhon Ratchasima in order to operate more flights to towns in the North and Northeast Thailand.

The airline will base two aircraft in the northeastern city and one in Phuket.

Happy Air sales and marketing manager, Phatcharapon Sontipun, told TTR Weekly that the airline is confident that its Nakhon Ratchasima, hub can be developed into its main operational base. The airport comes under the Civil Aviation Department with lower parking and landing fees than at the Airports of Thailand managed Phuket Airport.

“We will keep one aircraft in Phuket and have two operating out of Korat by 1 October.”

The airline will take delivery of two Swedish turboprop, 33-seat Saab-340 aircraft that were previously used by Nok Mini.

“We got the news that the Australian firm will not renew the leasing contract with Nok Mini so we were able to ink a deal before the aircraft were transferred back to Australia. That saves set-up costs.”

“We have to streamline our operations as we know it will not be easy to operate flights in the northern part of Thailand but we have to admit that it is also difficult to compete on the main Bangkok-Phuket route with the equipment we have. We decided to make Korat our main base due a geographical advantage and also we have been given strong support from the province and the Civil Aviation Department to set up a base.”

The first flight out of Nakhon Ratchasima will start 19 August on a route to Chiang Mai. By 20 August a service from Nakhon Ratchasima to Bangkok will be launched, followed by Bangkok-Nan and Bangkok-Luang Prabang services 23 August. The aircraft on these two routes flies from the northeast base to Suvarnabhumi Airport to start the services.

On the Bangkok-Nakhon Ratchasima route, the management recognises it will be a tough challenge as several airlines have failed to make a go of this route. The distance is only 259 km and there are hourly bus services to the capital.

Happy Air will set the fare at around Bt1,500 per sector and will provide a van shuttle service from the airport to downtown Bangkok for Bt150.

As for Nan and Luang Prabang, the airline previously flew these routes and suspended services. The Luang Prabang route was launched 23 July and attracted very few passengers.

“We jumped in too quickly. We had outbound groups but lacked return traffic. Also we operated daily and we will now try a three weekly service,” said Mr Phatcharapon.

The the Luang Prabang fare will be around Bt3,400 per sector, while the Bangkok-Nan fare will be Bt2,800 per sector.

By October, the airline will open services to Loei, out of Bangkok, Nakhon Ratchasima to Chiang Rai and Nakhon Ratchasima to Chiang Mai services.

Last week, 8 August, the airline joined forces with Ranong Air, formed by the Royal Erawan Group and Siamchai International Food, to ferry passengers to Ranong, twice weekly. Passengers connect with a boat service to a casino island in Burmese waters, near Victoria Point. The Fare is Bt2,800 per sector.

Also last week, the airline started three weekly services to Nakhon Si Thammarat from its Phuket base with a sector fare of Bt1,200.

Other services include four weekly flights between Phuket and Hat Yai and once weekly from Phuket to Langkawi. One-way fares are Bt1,700 and Bt3,050 respectively.

The airline started its business October last year. For more information, contact 076327 777-80 or visit www.happyair.co.th There is no online booking capability at present.

Thailandaviation
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Offline dirtydog (†2012)

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Re: Nakhon Ratchasima Airport to reopen?
« Reply #10 on: August 19, 2010, 11:18:46 PM »
Quote
On the Bangkok-Nakhon Ratchasima route, the management recognises it will be a tough challenge as several airlines have failed to make a go of this route. The distance is only 259 km and there are hourly bus services to the capital.
At 1,500baht per person from Bangkok to Korat I really don't think they will get those seats filled, well off Thais will just drive, poor Thais have the buses.

Offline Johnnie F.

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Re: Nakhon Ratchasima Airport to reopen?
« Reply #11 on: August 20, 2010, 08:15:31 AM »
At 1,500baht per person from Bangkok to Korat I really don't think they will get those seats filled, well off Thais will just drive, poor Thais have the buses.


The planned high-speed train seems to be the best alternative for various reasons. Mainly because the train stations are located in the heart of the cities.
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Offline Johnnie F.

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Re: Nakhon Ratchasima Airport to reopen?
« Reply #12 on: September 01, 2010, 06:40:48 PM »
From the first flight to Chiangmai:

Grand Opening Happy Air Nakornratchasima to Chiang Mai arrived at Chiang Mai International Airport
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Offline Johnnie F.

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Re: Nakhon Ratchasima Airport to reopen?
« Reply #13 on: November 02, 2011, 05:09:35 AM »
"...Happy Air will resume our services this November. We are humbly thank you for your patience. Please check our flight schedule, coming soon..."

Message from their facebook page is : "The route Bkk-Korat will be back in the beginning of Next Year, 2012."
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Re: Nakhon Ratchasima Airport to reopen?
« Reply #14 on: November 02, 2011, 10:50:05 AM »
Thai Regional Airlines are using Korat airport at present albeit a limited service.

 



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