Bangkok Airways’ outlook brightens as expansion at Samui Airport begins, according to an assessment made by Centre for Asia-Pacific Aviation.
According to the CAPA report, Bangkok Airways is pursuing expansion at Samui Airport, using some of the additional slots made available after Thai authorities agreed to raise the cap on aircraft movements by almost 40%.
The expansion should result in the resumption of passenger growth at Samui, which recorded a 2% drop in passenger numbers in 2014.
“The expansion should enable Bangkok Airways to increase the Samui portion of passengers in its overall network, which has been declining in recent years as the regional full-service carrier has pursued rapid expansion in the more competitive Bangkok market.”
“The higher reliance on Samui should improve the airline’s outlook for 2015 as its Samui routes are high yield due to the lack of competition,” the centre said.
Samui Airport secured permission from Thailand’s DCA in November last year to increase aircraft movements from 36 return flights per day to 50 a day.
Bangkok Airways has already loaded into its reservation system a significant increase on flights on the core Samui-Bangkok route as well as a small increase to Kuala Lumpur and Singapore.
From the end of this month, Samui-Kuala Lumpur will be increase flights from seven to 11 weekly and Samui-Singapore will increase from seven to 10 weekly. This will give Bangkok Airways five daily international flights departing Samui when Hong Kong is included, which increased from daily to double daily at the end of 2012.
Meanwhile Bangkok Airways plans to expand its domestic operation at Samui from 27 to 32 daily flights as five frequencies are added on the Samui-Bangkok route.
According to OAG, aviation information and analytical services data, the core Samui-Bangkok route will be served with 24 daily flights during peak periods of the 2015 northern summer schedule, primarily April and August. Bangkok Airways currently operates an average of 19 daily flights between Samui and Bangkok, which is by far its largest route, with reductions during off peak periods.
CAPA added the airline plans to expand its A320 family fleet to over 30 aircraft by the end of 2018. A large portion of this capacity can be allocated to the Samui market as Bangkok Airways gradually uses the 14 additional slot pairs.
Its IPO prospectus identified Beijing, Guangzhou, Kunming and Shanghai as potential international routes to Samui although services to China are not expected in the near-term, it said.