Low cost carriers expanding, tourist arrivals up
Thai airlines are seeking to expand their markets with the lifting of the red flag by International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO). Three low cost carriers, Thai AirAsia X (TAAX), Thai Lion Air (TLA) and NokScoot, told the Bangkok Post that the removal of the red flag will allow the airlines to set plans in motion for expansion into new markets. Thai Air Asia X plans on adding three new Airbus A330-300 wide-body jets to its six-aircraft fleet, and will begin more North Asian routes and new flights to Europe and Australia. Nok Scoot plans on doubling its passenger volume next year to 2 million and will add more routes out of Don Mueang to China, India, Japan and South Korea. The airline is taking delivery of a new aircraft which will allow the airline to increase flights to Tianjin, Tsingtao and Shenyang, as well as launch a new route to Xian, China. The airline currently flies to Nanjing, Qingdao, Dalian, Tianjin and Shenyang in China, and Taipei in Taiwan.
Nearly 27 million foreign tourists visited Thailand from January 1 to October 11, a 5.6 percent climb year on year according to the Minister of Tourism and Sports. The minister reported that during the first 10 months of the year there were 26.9 million foreign arrivals generating 1.37 trillion baht in revenues, a 7.6 percent climb from the same period last year. Chinese tourists remained the highest number of arrivals, with 7.63 million arriving this year and 227,648 traveling to Thailand during the country’s Golden Week holiday from October 1 -7. More than 6.15 million Chinese travelled abroad during Golden Week with Thailand, Japan, Singapore, the US, and Vietnam as the top destinations.
Drone users have been ordered to register their drones within the next 90 days or face up to five years in prison and a 100,000 baht fine it was announced by the NBTC which now has jurisdiction since drones use radio frequencies. Currently only 350 drones are registered out of an estimated 50,000 nationwide. Owners will need to provide their names, details of serial numbers of communication devices, and pictures when they register. Drones can be registered at Civil Aviation Authority of Thailand (CAAT) and the NBTC headquarters and its 21 provincial offices as well as police stations nationwide. When the registration period ends in January 2018, those who want to import drones must seek permission from NBTC first.
Land prices and concurrently condominium prices continue to rise along Sukhumvit road in Bangkok. Lower Sukhumvit soi 39 to soi 49 saw an 18 percent rise each year in land prices in the period from 2011 – 2017 while lower Soi Thonglor grew 17 percent. The area from Asok to Thong Lor area saw land prices rise 22 percent each year during the same period. Other key sois in the area off Sukhumvit and Soi Thonglor grew 20 percent each year. Condo prices have risen 9 percent each year in the area. The supply of new condos in the area has grown 67 percent each year according to the report from Nexus. The property consultant predicts land prices in the area will grow at least 10 percent each year for the next two years as demand for the area remains high and take up of new developments remains steady.