13th Oct 2017
Thai-based medium-to-long-haul airline NokScoot is planning to double its passenger volume in 2018 to more than 2 million, according to its Chairman Chokchai Panyayong.
Mr. Panyayong, who also serves as the acting chief executive officer (CEO) at the low-cost carrier (LCC), said that the plan is to add new routes from its base at Don Muang International Airport in Bangkok to destinations in China, Japan, South Korea and India.
Also, the airline will look to add more aircraft to its current fleet in the next six month, says Mr. Panyayong. The first of the new aircraft NokScoot is to receive will be a Boeing 777-200 plane. This will be fourth plane of this type in NokScoot’s fleet and it is scheduled to arrive later in October.
Thanks to the new widebody jet, NokScoot will be able to launch a new route to Xian in China, but also expand its existing routes to Shenyang, Tianjin and Tsingtao.
Mr. Chokchai added that the plan is to also acquire at least one more B777-200 in the first quarter of next year. Following the necessary approval from regulatory bodies, NokScoot aims to launch two new services to Narita in Japan and Incheon in South Korea.
Mr. Panyayong concluded by saying that, in case the expansion efforts go as planned, the passenger volume is expected to exceed that of this year’s by 100%. The expected passenger volume in 2017 is 1.1 million.
NokScoot is a joint venture of Singaporean Scoot and Thailand's Nok Air. Since starting scheduled services in May 2015, NokScoot flies to six destinations. Five of these are to China: Dalian, Nanjing, Shenyang, Tianjin and Dalian and the carrier also operates to Taipei in Taiwan.
Like other Thai-based carriers, NokScoot was banned from opening new international routes and expanding existing ones due to the red flag status imposed by the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) in 2015 for “significant safety concerns” in Thai civil aviation.
However, now that ICAO has finally lifted the red flag status, NokScoot and the other Thai airlines can once again fly internationally. At least those that have had their Air Operator Certificates (AOCs) re-issued by the Civil Aviation Authority of Thailand (CAAT) and NokScoot did.