BANGKOK (eTN) – Since June 1, Bangkok belongs to the few airports around the world to receive the Airbus A380 regularly with a daily flight from Emirates Airlines linking the Thai capital to Dubai.
“It is a great event for us and a sign of confidence in Thailand,” declared at the welcoming ceremony the Cchairman of the Tourism Authority of Thailand, Weerasak Kowsurat.
“We see a slight decline in passengers flying to Thailand but this is not at all alarming. Traffic still remains strong and we are committed to the Thai market. We offer three daily flights from Dubai to Bangkok and the arrival of the A380 is adding 30 percentmore capacity,” said Khalid Bardan, manager Thailand and Indochina for Emirates.
Dubai-based carrier remains quite confident about its ability to continue to grow in these difficult times, although Richard Vaughan, senior vice president Commercial Operations Worldwide, admits that Emirates slightly altered its expansion plans. “ We will still open new destinations this year such as Luanda in Angola and later Durban but we rather go now for a consolidation phase,” he explains. We will receive some 18 aircraft until next year which will help us to boost frequencies on existing routes.”
Emirates serves in Asia all possible money-making routes, according to Vaughan. “We still miss Tokyo but we should be able to start our services there with the opening of new runways next year,” he predicted.
According to Khalid Bardan, the airline carefully studies the evolution of the Vietnamese market but they are no indication so far of Emirates starting services there in a near future.
And regarding the Airbus A380, Richard Vaughan indicated that the next Asian city to welcome Emirates new flagship aircraft will be Seoul, before the end of the year.