Budget airline Thai Lion Air (TLA) has announced huge plans for expansion in its domestic and international network, opening up more of Asia for its Thai customers.
Within Thailand, TLA will be adding services from Khon Kaen, Trang and Phitsanulok to its roster, according to the Bangkok Post. It also plans to create a domestic route between Chiang Mai and Hat Yai in a bid to better link the north and the south of the Kingdom.
Also in TLA’s sights are flights to Yangon, Jakarta, Ho Chi Minh City and Hanoi from Don Mueang airport, all of which are expected to make their debut this year.
The airline are also keen to launch a regular route to Beijing from both Don Mueang and Chiang Mai, which could go ahead in the second half of 2016.
A route to Japan, specifically Fukuoka, is also desired although currently on hold after Thailand’s airlines were all put under special measures by the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) in March 2015, after a number of safety issues were flagged.
An oversight audit was conducted by the ICAO on Thailand’s airlines in January last year. A spokesman for the ICAO said, “The audit revealed some safety concerns, primarily relating to air operator certification procedures.”
The Thai authorities are reportedly working on rectifying the identified issues.
After the ruling, South Korea and Japan promptly blocked any new flights from Thai airlines, reported the Telegraph.
TLA is a budget subsidiary of Indonesia’s Lion Air, an airline awarded just 1 star for safety by airlineratings.com earlier this year. Airline Ratings is an independent plane safety and ratings website.
Lion Air was one of ten airlines rated just 1 star, the others all registered in Indonesia, Nepal and Suriname.
Up to this point, TLA has focused mostly on the Thai domestic market with 10 routes crossing the Kingdom and just one international flight from Bangkok to Singapore.
Featured image is by Alec Wilson and used under a Creative Commons licence