There seem to be a lot of new routes, increased services, and even a few new airlines in the region. Here’s some of the more interesting items to hit my inbox this week:
Air Asia to fly Bali – Yogyakarta
Budget behemoth Air Asia Indonesia is set to launch direct service between Bali Denpasar (DPS) and Yogyakarta’s Adisucipto International Airport (JOG). The Central Java area around Yogyakarta is Indonesia’s second biggest tourist draw, with sights such as the massive Buddhist temple-mountain of Borobodur and the extensive complex of Hindu temples at Prambanan.
The low cost carrier has up to now has used only Jakarta as a hub, which makes getting around the huge country using them difficult, versus the national carrier Garuda, which connects many major cities directly. The service will launch on 8 June 2012. There’s an introductory price of around US$ 16 one-way but those seats will fill up fast. Expect to pay double that or more.
Increased Service to Yangon
With the easing of political tensions within Myanmar (Burma) and the reduced isolation of the country, there’s a mad rush of tourism to the place. Thai Airways, Bangkok Airways, Silk Air and China Airlines have all announced increased frequency to Yangon, while Japanese carrier ANA has announced resumption of Tokyo – Yangon service after a break of more than ten years. Both of the Thai carriers are increasing flights from two to three per day.
New Budget Carriers Enter the Fray
Two new low cost airlines are set to enter the apparently not-crowded-enough Southeast Asian market:
Scoot is a new medium-to-long haul budget carrier under Singapore Airlines. They started up in late 2011 with service between Singapore and Australia, and will start service between Singapore and Bangkok in July. For details see the Fly Scoot web site.
Thai Smile is Thai Airways’ own new low cost entry (even though it owns a stake in Nok Air already). The airline’s inaugural flights are on 7 July 2012 with service between Bangkok, Macau and Krabi. See the Thai Smile web site for full details.