11th Jan 2018
Thai AirAsia X is proving that its talk of flights to Eastern and Central Europe were indeed serious. Last summer, TAAX Chief Executive Officer Tassapon Bijleveld revealed the airline is looking into flying to several destinations in this part of Europe, including Austria, Czech Republic, Hungary, Poland and Croatia.
At the time, Thai AirAsia X CEO said:
We are not looking at major European cities like London, Frankfurt, Amsterdam or Paris, which are highly competitive with little chance of making money. Realistically, embarking on Eastern European flights would take six months, meaning services could begin in the second half of 2018.
In an interview for EX-YU Aviation News, spokesperson for the airline, Wanant Kerchuen said:
Thai AirAsia X is exploring all potential opportunities to expand our network and provide more travel options. Apart from tapping into North Asia, namely Japan, Korea and China, Croatia has been one of the possibilities that we are currently engaging in a feasibility study.
Croatia is a ripe market for taking and the country has seen a record 2017 when it comes to air traffic, with the capital of Zagreb, Dubrovnik and Split its most sought-out destinations. At the moment, several international airlines offer its services to Croatia, including Qatar Airway, which flies directly to Doha and Air Transat with a seasonal direct service to Toronto.
Other airlines are expected to follow suit and Air Canada has already announced the beginning of its service to Croatia for 2018. In addition, travel between Croatia and Middle East and Asian destination is no longer just a dream as this year will see the introduction of seasonal charter flights between Dubrovnik and Zagreb and direct flights between Zagreb and Seoul and there is also high possibility of a direct flight connection with China.
Meanwhile, TAAX isn’t the only Thai-based carrier to at least consider flights to Croatia. Thai Airways Acting President Usanee Sangsingkeo revealed this airline’s plans for Easter Europe:
The opening of flights to Vienna has enabled Thai Airways to serve passengers from Eastern European countries within a 300-kilometre radius. These countries are primarily Croatia, the Czech Republic, Poland, Slovakia and Slovenia with a combined population of approximately 32 million people. We are aiming to carry a sizeable number of these travellers.