Travel Trade Journal

Nok Air looking at gaining foothold in India’s buoyant aviation market

- Prashant Nayak

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.

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 ?? ?? ▲ Wutthiphum Jurangkool
▲ Wutthiphum Jurangkool

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