Travel Trade Journal
Nok Air looking at gaining foothold in India’s buoyant aviation market
Nok Air is rapidly expanding its international network and has chosen Hyderabad as its hub for re-entry into India, giving Indians who wish to visit Thailand more options. In this interaction with TTJ, Wutthiphum Jurangkool, CEO, Nok Air, touched upon a few aspects of the new route launch and the India market, as they look forward to increasing connectivity to more cities in India this year.
Nok Air, a low-cost airline from Thailand, serves the largest number of domestic routes and has a presence in international sectors as well. Nok Air strives to be the number one choice, providing customers with true satisfaction through affordability, reliability, convenience, innovation, and care.
“Nok Air is a passenger-friendly airline. We realise that travel is evolving, and the requirements of passengers are changing rapidly. To keep abreast and serve the passengers better, we make sure that we understand the requirements and include them in our service offerings. We offer flexibility keeping in mind budget and premium travel segments,” says Wutthiphum.
In times when aviation fuel prices are higher than ever, Nok Air strategises the pricing in such a way that they can offer competitive prices as per the demand in the market. They position themselves as an LCC, however, they operate as a “hybrid premium airline”, showcasing passengers the best of Nok offerings for a seamless travel experience.
Nok Air, before COVID, served two destinations in India, Visakhapatnam, and Guwahati from Bangkok but it was terminated later. Nok Air re-entered India in February 2023 and currently connects Hyderabad to Bangkok (Don Mueang International Airport) and onward to their wide domestic network within Thailand as well as the neighbouring countries. The move by Nok Air is expected to further strengthen the cultural and economic ties between India and Thailand, while also providing a convenient and comfortable travel option for passengers.
“The Bangkok- Hyderabad route has been doing seemingly well. Based on the success of the current route, we do wish to expand our roots into the country at the right time. Our expansion plan is underway and we are considering additional routes to India,” adds Wutthiphum.
Sharing more, Wutthiphum said, “From India, with connectivity to Bangkok, Nok Air offers the densest domestic connections within Thailand. Onward from Thailand, we offer multiple international connections to China, Myanmar and Vietnam.”
Thailand over the years has emerged as one of the most popular tourist destinations among Indians. The introduction of this direct flight to Bangkok will not only attract more travellers to Bangkok but will also allow them to explore exotic destinations like Chiang Mai, Betong, Krabi, Phuket, and many more. Nok Air currently operates 3 weekly non-stop flights from their hub DMK in Bangkok to Hyderabad in the Summer 2023 schedule. The new route is operated by state-of-the-art Boeing 737-800 with 189 Economy Class seats.
India has become an important market for Nok Air and the airline is keen to connect with Indian trade partners. “India is a primary market for Nok Air as it opens the airline to a high-potential and wider network. The multicultural charm of India is very similar to that of Thailand. We feel Nok Air helps in bridging the physical distance and gets the people of the two nations closer. We are focusing on creating brand awareness amongst the travel trade in India with our B2B collaborations,” informs Wutthiphum.
In India, Nok Air has appointed DEX Group as the GSA and the airline is confident that DEX Group will support the carrier to establish an excellent sales and marketing network across the country to achieve its commercial goals in the India market.
Nok Air has a young fleet, and they plan to add four new aircraft in 2023 and subsequently add two aircraft each year. This will support their strategy of the densest domestic coverage network and expansion with the best services across Asia. “We take pride in our fleet, which primarily consists of the Boeing 737-800, which is configured with 189 seats. Each of our aircraft has a unique, vibrant design that reflects our service personality,” concludes Wutthiphum.