Kan Air runs a number of flight services from the naval airbase of U-tapao in Rayong Province. These were temporarily suspended for legal reasons. These obstacles have been overcome and full service is soon set to resume. This is all part of the over-arching strategy of Kan Air to consolidate and increase it network of services and fleet of aircraft in advance of the opening of Koh Phangan airport.
The budget airline secured permission to run a number of flight services from U-tapao from the Department of Civil Aviation (DCA). On April 10th, 2015 the airline started running services between U-tapao and Chiang Mai, Ubon Ratchathani, Udon Thani, Khon Kaen and Bangkok’s Don Mueang Airport.
Permission was granted for chartered flights. Tickets were for wholesale purchase only. On June 15th this permission was revoked by the DCA when it was discovered that the company had also sold tickets for these routes through retail outlets, thus breaching the rules for chartered flights.
It is a credit to the DCA that such irregularities were soon identified and then resolved. On July 20th permission was given to Kan Air to continue flights from U-tapao Airport as scheduled rather than chartered flights.
As a result Kan Air is now allowed to offer scheduled flights from U-tapao to Phuket, Krabi, Chiang Mai, Udon Thani and Hat Yai. This is a major commercial step forward for Kan Air. Not only is their portfolio of scheduled services increased but it also includes important tourist hubs such as Phuket, Krabi and Chiang Mai. There is also the option to take up the route between Don Mueang to Phrae.
The Phrae route is due to start later this year. Capacity has been made available for this scheduled route by reducing the Dong Mueang to Mae Sot service from 3 flights a week to just two.
Somphong Sooksanguan, president of Kannithi Aviation Co. has indicated that the company are looking to add to its aircraft fleet. They want to add two single aisle jets as well as Airbus 320 to their growing fleet.
The company have managed the situation well. New routes are online and the commercial basis of the company looks secure. In such a context the future for Koh Phangan Airport also looks secure. The expanding route itinerary allows financial capacity for completing Koh Phangan Airport as well as sourcing suitable airplanes to make the route between Koh Phangan east coast and Bangkok’s Don Muang Airport.
The U-Tapao Airport is of importance as a key travel hub for the area. It provides capacity for those going to Phuket as well as Pattaya. The pleasure city of Pattaya is only 40 km away. There are mini bus services linking the airport with major tourist destinations.