Thai Lion Air to launch two new routes

Thai Lion Air’s Boeing 737-800 at Don Mueang airport. The no-frills carrier is moving to expand its domestic network. BOONSONG KOSITCHOTETHANA

Thai Lion Air (TLA) has pre-empted other Thai-registered airlines in the new year with the introduction of two new routes.

The low-cost carrier subsidiary of Indonesia’s Lion Group has set Feb 10 for the simultaneous launch of Bangkok-Trang and Chiang Mai-Surat Thani routes, according to airline executives.

The Bangkok-Trang route is particularly significant for TLA, as it has waited almost a year for permission from Thai authorities to launch the route.

Chiang Mai-Surat Thani represents TLA’s second domestic inter-regional connection, following successful non-stop flights between Udon Thani and Hat Yai.

TLA’s nine other domestic routes, as well all six international routes, originate from Bangkok’s Don Mueang airport.

The airline will operate two daily flights on the Bangkok-Trang route and a daily service on Chiang Mai-Surat Thani.

TLA is offering a discounted fare of 425 baht for one-way all-inclusive travel for Bangkok-Trang, and 925 baht for Chiang Mai-Surat Thani, a flight that takes 2 hours and 20 minutes.

With the rock-bottom fares, TLA’s Trang debut will create turbulence in a marketplace featuring two arch rivals — Nok Air and Thai AirAsia — that operate frequent flights on the route.

TLA will also take a slice from Thai Air-Asia on the Chiang Mai-Surat Thani route, on which the latter operates a daily service.

TLA executives believe there is more travel demand to be spurred from the Bangkok-Trang route, from both business and leisure travellers.

Flight SL 824 departs Don Mueang at 9:35am and arrives at Trang at 11am, with the return flight SL 825 leaving Trang at 12:45pm and arriving at Don Mueang at 2:10pm.

Flight SL 826 takes off from Don Mueang at 4:30pm and touches down in Trang at 5:55pm, while the return flight SL 827 departs Trang at 8pm and arrives at Don Mueang at 9:25pm.

Meanwhile, flight SL 982 departs Chiang Mai at 1:05pm to arrive at Surat Thani at 3:15pm, while the return flight SL 983 leaves Surat Thani at 6:45pm to arrive in Chiang Mai at 8:55pm.

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