Pattaya Airways Takes Flight with First ATR 72-500 Freighter

A Pattaya Airways ATR freighter on the tarmac.
Photo Credit: Pattaya Airways

ACIA Aero Leasing (ACIA), a prominent lessor of regional aircraft, recently delivered the first of two ATR 72-500 Bulk Freighters to Thailand’s newest airline, Pattaya Airways.

Pattaya Airways is nearing the final stages of acquiring its Air Operator Certificate (AOC) from Thai authorities and anticipates launching operations in the fourth quarter of 2024.

Establishment of Pattaya Airways

Pattaya Airways will operate as an all-cargo airline based in Thailand. It is a subsidiary of the Pattaya Group, a well-established company in the aviation industry.

Pattaya Airways was conceived to meet the growing demand for air cargo services. The all-cargo carrier will initially focus on domestic flights within Thailand, with plans to expand into neighboring Southeast Asian nations.

For its initial launch, Pattaya Airways has dry leased the 2 ATR 72-500s. This aircraft is ideal for short-haul, regional flights and can seat up to 70 passengers.

Pattaya Airways received the initial aircraft (MSN745) in April 2024, with the second freighter (MSN742) scheduled for delivery this May.

Entry to the Thai Market

“We’re thrilled to enter the Thai market with our first aircraft delivery to Pattaya Airways, marking the Pattaya Group’s inaugural venture into airline operations,” expressed Mick Mooney, Chief Executive Officer of ACIA.

“Pattaya Airways possesses a well-defined strategy to capitalize on the burgeoning domestic and regional cargo demand in Thailand and Southeast Asia, effectively complementing their existing logistics network and infrastructure.”

“The ATR 72 freighter is a perfect fit, and we anticipate placing more freighter aircraft in the region soon.”

Tosaporn Asunee, Chairman of Pattaya Airways, commented, “The Pattaya Group has a well-established presence in various sectors of Thailand’s aviation industry. We’re excited to expand our operations with the launch of Pattaya Airways.”

“The ATR 72 is ideally suited to cater to the rising demand for domestic and regional cargo transportation. We are grateful for ACIA Aero Leasing’s support in establishing our new airline.”

The Thai Air Cargo Market Sector

Thailand boasts a strong air cargo industry, thanks to its strategic location in Southeast Asia and well-developed infrastructure. Here’s a breakdown of what air cargo in Thailand is like:


  • Thailand serves as a key transportation hub for the region, facilitating trade between Asia, Europe, and other parts of the world.
  • The need to preserve freshness makes air cargo the preferred choice for exporting perishable goods like fruits, seafood, and flowers.
  • Manufacturing plays a significant role in Thailand’s economy, and air cargo is crucial for exporting manufactured goods efficiently.

Airports and Airlines:

  • Major airports like Suvarnabhumi Airport in Bangkok handle a large volume of air cargo.
  • Thailand has its own cargo airline, THAI Cargo, which operates a global network.
  • Numerous international airlines also offer air cargo services to and from Thailand.

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By Len Varley - Assistant Editor 4 Min Read
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