Friday, April 10, 2009

Kingfisher Air delays Thai plan

By: BOONSONG KOSITCHOTETHANA

Published: 9/04/2009 at 12:00 AM
Newspaper section: Business

Kingfisher Air clips Bangkok's wingsIndia's Kingfisher Airlines has delayed its debut flights to Bangkok planned for this month, citing aircraft availability constraints.

The five-star carrier planned to offer daily services from its base in Bangalore to Bangkok in March, using Airbus A321 jetliners. But it was split between mobilising its capacity to support the growing home market, or to expand internationally, eventually opting for the former, an insider said.

The carrier began flights on five new new domestic routes _ between Mumbai and Vadodara, Mumbai and Thiruvananthapuram, Hyderabad-Bhubaneswar, Hyderabad-Aurangabad and Bangalore-Kozhikode _ on March 29.

Kingfisher remains keen to launch regular services to Thailand, though these are likely to be delayed until late-October. Flights will link Bangkok with Mumbai, instead of Bangalore, and later with Kolkata, the air-traffic routes between Thailand and India.

The uncertainty has put Success Aviation, Kingfisher's general sales agent in Bangkok, and Bangkok Flight Services, which was contracted to provide ground services at Suvarnabhumi, in limbo.

Dubai faces similar uncertainty after the carrier recently delayed services between the two countries by three months.

Kingfisher had been operating for just three years when it launched its maiden international flight between Bangalore and London in September 2008.

The carrier's initial schedule between India and Thailand was seen as unappealing, as flights would depart Suvarnabhumi after midnight.

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