In December 2019, the director-general of the Civil Aviation Authority of Thailand (CAAT) said that two new budget airlines are expected to launch operations in Thailand during 2020. These two will be the first Thai-registered airlines to launch in the country since 2015, when the International Civil Aviation Authority red flagged Thailand for safety concerns. In October 2017, the red flag was lifted indicating that Thailand’s aviation safety standards meet international benchmarks.
Both the new airlines, Thai Summer Airways and Thai Eastar Jet, have been granted Air Operating Licenses (AOL) by the Civil Aviation Authority of Thailand and they are in the process of gaining their Air Operator Certificates. New Airlines must commence commercial flights within 12 months of being granted their AOL.
Thai Eastar Jet is a joint venture between Thai and South Korean investors and it will focus on routes between the two countries, though it will also have routes to Taiwan, Japan, India and Sri Lanka. It intends begin by operating charter services between Bangkok and the Taiwanese city of Kaohsiung.
Thai Summer Airways is a joint venture involving Chinese investors and it will focus on routes between Thailand and China using Boeing 737-800 aircraft. Its operations base is located at the U-Tapao Rayong-Pattaya International Airport.
(Sources: The Thaiger; AsiaOne; GET.com)