Low-cost carriers (LCCs) continued to flex their muscle in Thailand’s aviation sector last year, capturing more than 40% of the market with over 45 million passengers.
As the popularity of budget air travel grows, no-frills carriers are poised to increase their share of the overall airline market by 5-10 percentage points annually.
Tassapon Bijleveld, chief executive of Thai AirAsia (TAA), the country’s largest LCC, believes LCCs can make up for half of total commercial air traffic passing through Thai airports this year.
“It would not be irrational to envisage LCCs comprising 75% of air traffic in Thailand in five years or so,” he told the Bangkok Post.
The second phase of the development at Don Mueang International Airport is now complete and ready to accommodate more passengers as of March 8th.
According to Airports of Thailand (AoT) President Nitinai Sirismatthakarn, the second phase of the development consists of improvements to Passenger Terminal 2, three concourses, a southern walkway and toilet facilities.
Don Mueang International Airport is now able to accommodate 12 million more passengers annually or around 30 million people per year
LCCs have expanded over the last decade from essentially zero to penetrating almost 30% of Thailand’s total market
LCCs in 2012 accounted for 51% of domestic seat capacity in Thailand and 16% of international seat capacity, according to OAG data. LCCs in the year ending 30-Sep-2012 accounted for 28% of passengers at major airports in Thailand, including about 50% of domestic passengers and about 16% of international passengers, according to Airports of Thailand data.
LCCs over the last four years have doubled their traffic at Thailand’s main airports to over 20 million passengers, including 13.5 million domestic passengers and 6.9 million international passengers. The rate of LCC growth has been equal in both the domestic and international markets, sandwiching market leader Thai Airways.