Kan Air Changes Strategy

Kan Air Splits with ThaiViet JetAir and Opens up 4 New Routes

U Tapao International Airport
U Tapao International Airport

Kan Air announced a new strategy this month in the wake of splitting with Thai VietJet Air (TVJA). It plans to focus on building a domestic aviation business. Already it has started 4 new routes from the airport at U-Tapao, in Rayong

Until recently Kan Air was in partnership with TVJA to develop international air routes across South East Asia. Mr Somphong, president of Kannithi Aviation Co, operator of Kan Air, told the Bangkok Post differences in management styles led Kan Air to offloading its 51% shares in the budget carrier which has been plagued with delays in starting up.

This split has led to a change in business strategy for Kan Air. They are now focussing on opening up new air routes in Thailand. As well as using Chiang Mai Airport they are now also using U-Tapao. It is a navy-owned airstrip in Rayong Province.

Now that Kan Air has leased 2 more planes (ATR 72-500 Turbo Props) they are able to operate flights from U-Tapao every other day to Chiang Mai, Khon Kaen, Ubon Ratchathani and Udon Thani. They are expecting the flat one way fare to be 990 Thai Baht.

The plan is to ‘think outside the box’. This means offering internal flights that don’t involve the two big airports in Bangkok – Don Mueng and Suvarnabhumi. It is a smart move as much of the domestic flight market goes through these two busy Bangkok airports. Those low-cost carriers that can join up the dots throughout the rest of the country will benefit as the Thai economy grows.

The 2 leased planes were originally thought to be ear-marked for Koh Phangan Airport. They might still be, but until the airport is completed, it makes business sense to maximise revenue from existing assets.

Source: http://www.bangkokpost.com/business/tourism/498501/sky-the-limit-for-kan-air

Kan Air Videos

A look at ‘kanairlines’ YouTube Channel

Kan Air has not only their own website at www.kanairlines.com where you can reserve tickets on their scheduled flights around Changmai but they also have a YouTube channel.

There are only 5 videos currently on the channel (as of 4 Feb, 2013). The last video was uploaded in March 2012. The videos consist of media snippets and promo videos. The extent of the Kan Air online presence and visibility reflects the size of the company.

To make a comparison: Bangkok Air YouTube Channel has 501 subscribers and its 19 videos have been watched 795,596 times. Kan Air YouTube Channel has 12 subscribers and its 5 videos have been viewed 5,596 times.

There is no official footage of Koh Phangan airport yet. However that is soon to change. It will be interesting to see how well the change in Kan Air’s business will be reflected in their online output.

The video below starts with a bit of cheesy dance music that sounds like the Chemical Brothers but soon changes into flying muzak. You also get a clear idea of the size of plane that will be used in Koh Phangan. In the video it is a Cessna C208B Grand Caravan that holds 14 people. For Koh Phangan they are going to use similar sized planes but turbo prop style where the wing is lower on the craft.

The slogan for Kan Air is ‘Flying with Nature’ and the logo is a bird flying west. This features in the videos of Kan Air.


Finally, the take off section on the video shows the beauty to be seen when taking off from a tropical location. An ocean of lush colors receding as the plane ascends into blue skies.

Kan Air

About Kan Air

Kan Airways is a shortened version of the full company title which is Kannithi Aviation Co. Ltd. The company was founded in 2010. The CEO for Kan Air is Mrs. Saychon Sibmong. She is the wife of Mr. Somphong Sooksanguan who is president of Kannithi Group and owner of Kan Air.

The Kannithi Group initially made their money in the debt recovery business but since 2010 has diverted much of its financial attention to the aviation business.

At present Kan Airways serves 8 destinations in the north of Thailand. They are Chiang Mai, Chiang Rai, Mae Hong Son, Mae Sariang, Mae Sot, Nan, Pai, Phitsanulok, and Khon Kaen. These air routes are served by one Cessna Grand Caravan 208B. All the routes are scheduled except for the Mae Sariang one. The airport lacks infrastructure and so Kan Air is only able to offer chartered flights to and from this airport.

Part of the reason that Kan Air was able to secure the use of a Cessna airplane from America is that the company agreed to make the craft available for emergency medical evacuations from remote areas in the north of Thailand.

The main travel hub for these northern chartered and scheduled flights is Chiang Mai. Kan Air’s head office is located at 100/519 Moo 2, Chaeng-Wattana Rd. Thungsonghong Laksi in Bangkok. The telephone numbers for Kan Air are +66 (0)2-551-6111 and +66 (0)2-576-0844. The email address is center@kanairlines.com. The Kan Air website address is www.kanairlines.com

It is interesting to note that the Laksi area is close to Don Muang Airport. This airport was initially disused when Suvarnabhumi Airport opened. However, in the past couple of years pressure has been put on the government to open the airport again. This has been done and a number of budget carriers such as Air Asia have chosen to move to the old airport.

Kan Air is keen to move from its current travel hub in Chiang Mai to Don Muang in Bangkok. It is not only the capital city but also a more important travel hub with larger volumes of air traffic.

The lynchpin to Kan Air’s plan for the future is to establish itself as a major player in the lucrative flight business between Bangkok and the Samui Archipelago. While Bangkok Airways dominate the Samui to Bangkok route the Phangan to Bangkok is the next best thing. Not only does Koh Phangan attract tens of thousands of visitors a month, it also has a growing high-end in tourism that has long been expecting the establishment of an airport.

Kan Air is going to lease turbo props to run the route between Don Muang and Koh Phangan. It hopes to build on this success and also offer flights between Koh Phangan and Koh Tao.

It could be only a matter of time before Kan Air posts record profits while Bangkok Airways start to post lower profits. They will potentially lose many customers who are only using Koh Samui as a transfer point to get to Koh Phangan.

Kan Air has announced that Koh Phangan Airport will open in the second half of 2013.


Construction Continues

Work on the new Koh Phangan airport progresses

In 2011 work began on the process of building Koh Phangan airport. Permission had been given but the engineers had difficulty finding the best location for the runway and airport buildings. A site in Chaloklum seemed also under consideration.

Now the site in the north-east of Koh Phangan between Thong Nai Pan and Than Sadet has been developed, and work is well advanced to prepare the land and start building. The budget for the project has been revealed via the Bangkok Post as being $22 million dollars. This is an ambitious move from a relatively small budget carrier. Kan Air has told the press that the airport will be finished in the second half of 2013. That gives them about 6 months to complete.

The plans are for a runway that is 1,100 meters long. Koh Samui runway is much bigger – 2,060 meters. The short length of the runway is due to the mountainous terrain. Kan Air will lease 2 turboprops that can hold 50 people to run 3 80-minute flights to Don Muang Airport in Bangkok. Kan Air went into business in 2010 and has currently 1 Cessna that holds 12 people and goes between cities in the north. The hub for the carrier is Chiang Mai. Kan Air is hoping to move its hub to Bangkok’s newly booming Don Muang Airport and offer flights in the south of Thailand.

The future business health of Kan Air seems to have been staked on Koh Phangan Airport’s speedy completion and success as a travel hub.