Showing strong commitment and encouraged by steadily increasing passenger traffic, Thai Airways has announced that it will increase one flight each from Islamabad, Lahore and Karachi to Bangkok.
“At a time when international airlines are shying away from Pakistan owing to security issues, Thai Airways is increasing its flights. This shows our strong 37-year commitment to our Pakistani passengers,” Thai Airways Country Manager Polapat Neelabhamorn said at a press conference here on Thursday.
“Our passenger base is growing continuously in Pakistan and we felt the need to increase flights for customer convenience,” he added.
The new flight from Karachi will start from November 30, from Islamabad it will begin from December 1 and from Lahore the flight will start from February 20, 2013.
Responding to a question about fares, Manager Sales and Marketing Pakistan Asad Farooqui said despite financial constraints and rising operating cost, the airline kept its fares competitive in Pakistan over the years to keep up with competition.
After the addition of one more flight, the total number of weekly flights from Karachi will be five, from Islamabad the number will rise to four and from Lahore it will be six in a week.
With six flights a week, Lahore tops among three major cities of Pakistan. Giving the reason for this, Farooqui said most of the Pakistanis from upcountry areas preferred to travel from Lahore to Bangkok and beyond.
To a question about annual growth rate of the airline in Pakistan, Farooqui said he could not immediately tell the growth figure for the air carrier. “Definitely, we are growing in Pakistan,” he said, “from three flights at our launch 37 years ago, today we are operating 15 flights a week.”
Pakistani passengers were mostly business-related people, tourists and students, he said, adding most Pakistani businessmen used Thai Airways to travel to China, while tourists usually visited Thailand and neighbouring countries. In addition to these, a number of Pakistani students travelled to Australia through Thai Airways.
The air carrier started operations from Karachi 37 years ago, added Lahore to its network 15 years ago and Islamabad eight years ago.
Published in The Express Tribune, November 2nd, 2012.