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Thai AirAsia X confirms launching dates for its flights to Japan

July 8, 2014

Thai AirAsia X, Thailand’s first low-fare, long-haul carrier officially announces non-stop flights from Bangkok Don Mueang Airport (DMK) to Tokyo Narita International Airport (NRT) and Osaka Kansai International Airport (KIX). Both routes will start operating on 1 September 2014. To celebrate the special occasion, low fares to Japan are available starting from 2,990THB* for one way while Business Class seats start from as low as 9,990THB* one way! The fare is available for travel during 1 September 2014-31 July 2015.

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Nadda Buranasiri, Chief Executive Officer of Thai AirAsia X said, “Today we are very excited to be Thailand’s first long-haul, low-fare carrier to offer direct flights from Bangkok to Tokyo and Osaka. This has been a highly anticipated moment for us and for many Thai travelers who are looking forward to convenient, low-fare and high-value travel options to Japan. Travelers can choose from a variety of seating options including comfortable economy class seats, Hot Seats with extra leg-room, a special Quiet Zone where children below 12 years of age will not be seated, or a very comfortable Business Class with premium flatbeds.”

The CEO added, “We are pleased to contribute to the further increase number of tourists travelling between the two countries with our daily direct flights between Bangkok (DMK)-Tokyo (NRT) and five flights per week between Bangkok (DMK)-Osaka (KIX). We are also confident that the demand for this market will continue to substantially grow.”

According to the Japan National Tourism Organization (JNTO), 453,600 Thai people travelled to Japan in 2013, a significant increase of 74% from the previous year. Meanwhile 294,300 Thai visitors travelled to Japan during January-May 2014, an increase of 62.3% compared to the same period last year. Japan is an accessible and popular destination for many Thai people, especially after the cancellation of tourist visas for Thai passport holders in July 2013.

Likewise, Thailand is also a very popular destination for Japanese travelers with over 1.5 million Japanese visitors in 2013, an increase of 11.9% from 2012. Although the first 6 months of 2014 was affected by Thailand’s political situation, visitor numbers from Japan are expected to recover by the second half of the year and remain at 1.5 million this year. “We expect that our load factor will consequently be around 90% with an equal share of Thai and Japanese passengers. I believe that our arrival on the crowded Bangkok-Japan market will entice new travellers to fly. We saw a similar phenomenon with our Korean route where competition is even bigger”, explained Mr. Buranasiri.

“As we continue to expand our network to farther destinations, we have also created new Fly-Thru options by offering seamless transit connections from Chiang Rai, Chiang Mai, Hat Yai, Phuket and Krabi to Japan via Don Mueang Airport. Apart from enabling Thai people who live outside of Bangkok to conveniently reach Japan via Don Mueang, Japanese travelers can also easily reach destinations that are beyond Bangkok with this Fly-Thru option. This is just the beginning of how Thai AirAsia X’s long haul flights and Thai AirAsia’s short haul network can be combined to create amazing connectivity”, said Nadda Buranasiri.

International destinations that Japanese visitors can also conveniently connect to via Don Mueang Airport include Cambodia, Indonesia, Malaysia, Myanmar, Singapore and Vietnam. However, M. Buranasiri expects that the most popular connections will first be Phuket, Chiang Mai, Krabi and Siem Reap. Future flights in Japan could include opening a new route to Sapporo, most likely the next destination to Japan. “The Hokkaido region has been extremely dynamic in Southeast Asia. Beyond winter holidays, Hokkaido is now well known for its pristine landscapes, its lavender fields or its seafood. We also look at Nagoya and Fukuoka as other potential markets. But we will first work to be sure that our new Tokyo and Osaka flights are successful”, said Thai AirAsia X CEO.

Outside Japan, Thai AirAsia X currently studies services to Northern China as well as to Vladivostok and Moscow. New destinations to be watched out!

To celebrate the special occasion, BIG Loyalty Card members (www.airasiabig.com) and those who wish to purchase AirAsia Go’s flight and hotel package deals (www.airasiago.com) can exclusively enjoy the special promotional fare at the respective websites starting from 13.00hrs Thailand Time (GMT +7).

X-citing low fares starting from 2,990THB* per way for flights between Bangkok-Tokyo and Bangkok-Osaka will be available on http://www.airasia.com starting from 23.00hrs today, (7 July 2014, Thailand time) until 13 July 2014. The fare is available for travel during 1 September 2014-31 July 2015.

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