Thai AirAsia to begin Maldives flights on Aug 11 with introductory $59 fare

Thailand-based low-cost airline Thai AirAsia will begin direct flight operations between Thai capital Bangkok and Maldives on August 11 with very low introductory fares.

Thai AirAsia will operate a non-stop daily service from Don Mueang International Airport in Thai capital Bangkok and the Maldives main Velana International Airport. A 180-seat Airbus A320 single-aisle aircraft with only economy class configuration will be used for the service.

With the introduction of Thai AirAsia’s operations, the Male-Bangkok route will be serviced by three airlines, including the existing Maldives flagship carrier Maldivian and Bangkok Airways. Fares on the route are expected to see a significant reduction as Thai AirAsia is already offering an introductory one-way fare of USD 59.

Speaking at Thai AirAsia’s Maldives service launch in Bangkok on Wednesday, Haris Mohamed, acting managing director of state owned tourism promotion company Maldives Marketing and Public Relations Corporation (MMPRC), said the entry of Thai AirAsia would help create a competitive environment as well offer more travel options to the Maldives. Thai AirAsia would not only bring more Thai tourists to the Maldives but also others from Southeast Asia, he added.

“The Maldives is indeed a luxurious brand, but it is for all, not only for ultra high-end travellers,” he said.

Thai AirAsia is a joint venture of Malaysian low-fare airline AirAsia, which already flies to the Maldives, and Thailand’s Asia Aviation. It serves AirAsia’s regularly scheduled domestic and international flights from Bangkok and other cities in Thailand.

Bangkok has become a popular hub amongst Maldivian business travellers.

Thailand is also an emerging Asian source market for the Maldives tourism industry.

Official figures show that 16,451 tourists visited the Maldives from Thailand last year, a 3.4 percent rise from the year before. That growth has continued this year as well, with arrivals from Thailand increasing 20.4 percent in the first four months to reach 5,104 from 4,240 in the same period of last year.

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