LONDON – Thai low-cost carrier, Thai Vietjet will launch direct flights between northern Thailand’s largest city Chiang Mai to Osaka in Japan as of 16 February of 2023.
The airline plans to operate the route thrice weekly on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays. Vietjet plans to increase its frequencies depending on demand, according to Thailand news source thethaiger.com.
Thai VietJet plans to run a special promotion on the route until the 28th of January with an attractive one-way ticket from the Thai city as low as 3,401 Thai baht or US$103 -.
Chief Executive Officer of Thai Vietjet, Woranate Laprabang, said in an article by thethaiger.com: “The upcoming new service launch between Chiang Mai and Osaka marks another significant milestone for Thai Vietjet.”
“Chiang Mai, along with Bangkok and Phuket, has long been regarded as one of Thailand’s top tourist destinations. In 2018, it welcomed over 10 million tourists, with over 30% of them coming from abroad.
The company’s topman continued: “Although the number has increased, particularly in the post-pandemic time, there are now few direct international services that bring international passengers directly to Chiang Mai.”
“We believe that by launching our new service this time, we will be able to offer opportunities for Thai passengers to visit Osaka as well as passengers from Japan, particularly from Osaka, to travel to the beautiful city of Chiang Mai at an affordable price while providing high quality and comfortable service.”
This new route will boost Chiang Mai as a tourism hub in northern Thailand, and also strengthen Osaka as a secondary city in Japan, in terms of tourism, economics and strengthening ties between Thailand and Japan.
Before the pandemic, at least a million Thai tourists went to Japan. This new connection will bolster trade and tourism to greater heights.
Other Routes to Japan
Thai VietJet realises that the North Asian market, especially the Japanese market is continuously growing fast, in a post-pandemic world.
Many Thai tourists are opting to travel within Asia, rather than venture to far-flung places like Europe or North America, which prompted the airline to strengthen its presence in Japan.
Aside from the newly launched Chiang Mai – to Osaka route, the airline also operated daily direct flights between Fukuoka and the Thai capital, Bangkok.
Like any other airline, Thai Vietjet started the route conservatively by launching the Fukuoka route thrice weekly, but since, demand has risen, prompting the airline to operate it on a daily basis.
Chiang Mai as a potential hub?
Chiang Mai has recovered and grown impressively after 3 years of a virtually non-existent tourism industry. With carriers making a comeback to Thailand’s target city, the city could be touted as the next potential hub for low-cost carriers.
With the launch of the Osaka route with Thai VietJet, and other low-cost airlines returning to the city, Chiang Mai Airport could strengthen itself to be a better player in attracting regional and low-cost carriers.
Other airlines, such as Thai Air Asia are launching routes to secondary cities, in Vietnam such as Da Nang, and also Ho Chi Minh City, whilst the reopening of China will also bring in multiple airlines from China. Chiang Mai Airport is now out of the woods and is at a healthy growth trajectory.