In a move that will lose it international passengers arriving in to Thailand, AirAsia, has shifted its operations at Bangkok from Suvarnabhumi International Airport to the old Don Mueang International Airport today.
AirAsia’s Group Chief Executive Officer, Tony Fernandes commented
“I am extremely happy with our move to Don Mueang International Airport, which is probably Thailand’s biggest and first low cost airport. Operating out of low cost airports has always been something that we have been fighting long and hard for.” “Less congestion and shorter taxi time will result in less fuel consumption and less delays.”
Mr. Tassapon Bijleveld, CEO of Thai AirAsia, revealed that on the night of 30 September, AirAsia began transferring its fleet of 22 Airbus A320s from Suvarnabhumi International Airport to Don Mueang International Airport over a period of eight hours; starting from 20:00 up to 04:00. All other equipment, including baggage carts and passenger steps were transferred within 24 hours.
AirAsia is hoping to benefit from a less congested terminal at the new airport, as well as its proximity to central Bangkok. While this will give the carrier an edge for Bangkok based passengers, it will lose a lucrative market of international passengers who arrive and depart at Suvarnabhumi airport and transit to and from the many cities within Thailand and other ASEAN destinations.
AirAsia flights with flight codes FD, AK and QZ will operate over 160 flights per day from Don Mueang, to over 77 destinations across Thailand, Asia and Australia. AirAsia is expecting to carry eight million passengers in 2012 to and from Bangkok.