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Rumor: Thai Airways To Cancel Bangkok-Koh Samui  
User currently offlineFCAFLYBOY From United Kingdom, joined Nov 2006, 601 posts, RR: 0
Posted (2 years 1 month 3 weeks 1 day 15 hours ago) and read 13291 times:

I hear through work today (apologies for not being able to show the source) that effective January 15th, TG will suspend all BKK-USM operations, citing that due to extreme airport charges (owned by their main competitor, PG) it's no longer sustainable to operate the route.

While the inbound USM-BKK never had great connections to the European departure bank at 00:00-01:00, it's a shame to see the national airline of Thailand cease this hugely important tourism route. PG fly something like 20 times per day, and also own the airport, but surely the Thai government could step in to argue the "ridiculous" charges USM and PG are forcing on Thai, no?

[Edited 2012-08-30 06:03:53]

16 replies: All unread, jump to last
 
User currently offlineyowza From Canada, joined Jul 2005, 4900 posts, RR: 15
Reply 1, posted (2 years 1 month 3 weeks 1 day 13 hours ago) and read 13018 times:

I recently flew TG into USM and PG back to BKK. My TG flight was full of Danes who had just come in from CPH. It's a shame TG are being squeezed out and I feel ultimately Samui's loss. Samui is great but not much more of a draw than a dozen other places in the region that TG does service. I presume that TG already investigated the possibility of sending a larger aircraft with less frequency but that that too was cost prohibitive. One less 734 mission for TG then...

YOWza



12A whenever possible.
User currently offlineIrishAyes From United States of America, joined Jan 2008, 2208 posts, RR: 15
Reply 2, posted (2 years 1 month 3 weeks 1 day 13 hours ago) and read 12982 times:

Hardly surprising. PG controls anywhere from 81 to 89% of the total capacity on the BKKUSM route. Having just flown it myself a few weeks ago, there are literally hourly shuttles between the two airports that provide very convenient connections from BKK onward.

That said, in USM's defense, the airport is exceptionally nice. It's like visiting a resort, essentially. The airport provides complimentary newspapers, drinks and snacks to passengers in the departures area. I loved it!



next flights: jfk-icn, icn-hkg-bkk-cdg, cdg-phl-msp
User currently offlineSW733 From United States of America, joined Feb 2004, 6344 posts, RR: 9
Reply 3, posted (2 years 1 month 3 weeks 1 day 13 hours ago) and read 12970 times:

Quoting IrishAyes (Reply 2):
The airport provides complimentary newspapers, drinks and snacks to passengers in the departures area. I loved it!

Nice! Good to know. My fiance and I are spending part of our honeymoon next summer on Samui...the airport does indeed look great. Now I just wish PG would lower the prices of their HKG-USM flights, which are  Wow! expensive


User currently offlineFCAFLYBOY From United Kingdom, joined Nov 2006, 601 posts, RR: 0
Reply 4, posted (2 years 1 month 3 weeks 1 day 13 hours ago) and read 12942 times:

Does the government still own all/part of TG? I'm suprised they are allowing this to happen. If BA owned LHR and tried this with VS it would cause outrage (that's a whole other thread!).

USM is a great airport, has to be one of the world's most enjoyable to fly through. I like the way you just walk of the plane to collect luggage and the thatched Thai style buildings.


User currently offlineCricket From India, joined Aug 2005, 2971 posts, RR: 7
Reply 5, posted (2 years 1 month 3 weeks 1 day 12 hours ago) and read 12866 times:

Quoting FCAFLYBOY (Reply 4):
USM is a great airport, has to be one of the world's most enjoyable to fly through. I like the way you just walk of the plane to collect luggage and the thatched Thai style buildings.

I love USM airport, definitely one of the nicest airports in the world, I flew BKK-USM-BKK last year on PG with the wife. But in 2008, I flew on PG BKK-REP-BKK where they are a monopoly and the fares were downright ridiculous for such a short sector, if I had the time, flying on Air Asia via KUL would have been cheaper. I hope PG does not use the monopoly as an excuse to raise fares.



A300B2/B4/6R, A313, A319/320/321, A333, A343, A388, 737-2/3/4/7/8/9, 747-3/4, 772/2E/2L/3, E170/190, F70, CR2/7, 146-3,
User currently offlineFly2yyz From Canada, joined Jan 2006, 1046 posts, RR: 2
Reply 6, posted (2 years 1 month 3 weeks 1 day 12 hours ago) and read 12844 times:

Would Thai relaunch this route with Thai Smile?

User currently offlineSW733 From United States of America, joined Feb 2004, 6344 posts, RR: 9
Reply 7, posted (2 years 1 month 3 weeks 1 day 12 hours ago) and read 12844 times:

Quoting Cricket (Reply 5):
I flew on PG BKK-REP-BKK where they are a monopoly and the fares were downright ridiculous for such a short sector

Yeah no kidding. I was looking at that route just the other day and it was an incredibly high fare for such a short route


User currently offlineLufthansa From Christmas Island, joined May 1999, 3217 posts, RR: 10
Reply 8, posted (2 years 1 month 3 weeks 1 day 12 hours ago) and read 12802 times:

Doesn't Thailand have anti competition laws?
This sort of thing would verge on illegal in a lot of countries where the resource is effectively
a monopoly. Bangkok air should be careful. Thai is a much bigger carrier... one with the ability to do something
like start running 747s at high frequency on competing routes dumping capacity. I'm assuming what they are doing
is perfectly legal in thailaind, but other's can fight back. Thai does own a LCC. There are other tourist hot spots. Thai has a long haul network to bring them there from the globe...but long haul thai and fly dirt cheap inside thailand etc....

Maybe some locals with a better knowledge of the local legal system care to comment. I know for example, QF probably wouldn't even be allowed to buy Sydney Airport as an example due to lack of competition. Slots are one thing. This is another.


User currently offlineIrishAyes From United States of America, joined Jan 2008, 2208 posts, RR: 15
Reply 9, posted (2 years 1 month 3 weeks 1 day 11 hours ago) and read 12577 times:

Quoting SW733 (Reply 3):
Nice! Good to know. My fiance and I are spending part of our honeymoon next summer on Samui...the airport does indeed look great. Now I just wish PG would lower the prices of their HKG-USM flights, which are   expensive

I know....they were brutally high. There was no way around it though. However, PG did allow us to check bags for free, change to an earlier flight at no charge, and they provide a full meal service even on a one-hour flight! It's a great little airline.



next flights: jfk-icn, icn-hkg-bkk-cdg, cdg-phl-msp
User currently offlineNewYorkCityBoi From United States of America, joined Sep 2006, 193 posts, RR: 0
Reply 10, posted (2 years 1 month 3 weeks 1 day 10 hours ago) and read 12481 times:

Well I grew up in Thailand and PG literally spent money building the airport itself (from buying the land, engineer, etc) so it make sense that they can charge that high to other carriers. Too bad, I wish TG would continue the route.

User currently offlineRDH3E From United States of America, joined Mar 2011, 1726 posts, RR: 3
Reply 11, posted (2 years 1 month 3 weeks 1 day 10 hours ago) and read 12420 times:

I will say it sucks for TG, but I LOVED my trip on PG BKK-UTP-HKT-BKK. They were attentive, free meal, checked our bags free, no change fee charged when we took an earlier flight. Overall extremely positive experience.

[Edited 2012-08-30 11:00:00]

User currently offlinescbriml From United Kingdom, joined Jul 2003, 12630 posts, RR: 46
Reply 12, posted (2 years 1 month 3 weeks 1 day 9 hours ago) and read 12375 times:
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Quoting FCAFLYBOY (Reply 4):
USM is a great airport, has to be one of the world's most enjoyable to fly through. I like the way you just walk of the plane to collect luggage and the thatched Thai style buildings.

When were you last there? The airport has seen significant development in the last few years.

Quoting Cricket (Reply 5):
I love USM airport, definitely one of the nicest airports in the world

It is, but it has lost some of its charm. Just a few years ago the terminal was open-plan with a thatched roof! There's lots of flowers and vegetation around the airport, so photos from there are normally quite pretty.


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User currently offlineroberts87 From Netherlands, joined Dec 2011, 999 posts, RR: 0
Reply 13, posted (2 years 1 month 3 weeks 18 hours ago) and read 5608 times:

This now appears to be confirmed by Airlineroute.net

I was planning on flying BKK-USM in February, net yet booked, so I hope PG doesn't use this as an oppurtinity to increase the fares even more!


User currently offlineAA7295 From Australia, joined Aug 2007, 622 posts, RR: 0
Reply 14, posted (2 years 1 month 3 weeks 18 hours ago) and read 5550 times:

As much as I hate to see this happen. PG domestic service craps all over TG domestic service. I loved PG!! Highly recommended!

User currently offlinespud757 From United Kingdom, joined Nov 2007, 339 posts, RR: 0
Reply 15, posted (2 years 1 month 3 weeks 15 hours ago) and read 3564 times:

Have to agree PG service beats TG hands down on BKK-USM route. Flew PG on their 717 and got full service cold meal (salad) with drinks. Was very impressed for a flight which is less than an hour. Flew TG and got a tiny piece of cake and awful coffee.

However PG does need some competition on the route. Granted their holding company owns the airport but that shouldn't mean they use that to price competitors out. Wonder if Air Asia will ever try USM?

The first time I went through USM back in 2005 I was amazed by the airport with no walls and thatched roof. The checkin desks didn't have luugage belts either

Second time was 2009 and it had changed. A very modern checkin area like a regular airport, but still no walls. And they've built an open air street of boutique shops and cafes which you walk down from checkin to the international departure area. Still open air in areas and they do nice little touches like free wi-fi and refreshments for all passengers (even if not flying with PG). Wish all airports could be like USM.

Next time back in USM I'd love a flight on one of PGs ATRs rather than airbus just for the thrill of turboprop flight.


User currently offlineThreeWests From United States of America, joined Jul 2003, 56 posts, RR: 0
Reply 16, posted (2 years 1 month 2 weeks 6 days 22 hours ago) and read 2759 times:

A few years ago I flew TG out of URT, as an alternative to USM. It was a very nice ferry ride, saw a little more of the country and it seems that the TG fair was dirt cheap to BKK.


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