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News Forum - Nok Air suspends new domestic route in Thailand after just six weeks


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Nok Air has temporarily suspended all Chiang Mai – Korat flights just six weeks after the route’s inaugural flight on August 2. The suspended route was the only commercial flight going in and out of Isaan’s Nakhon Ratchasima Airport, which is now a ghost town and at risk of closing again. The service had high potential, linking the capital of the North to Nakhon Ratchasima – aka ‘Korat’ – in northeast Thailand, which otherwise takes 10.5 hours to drive. The route looked promising when 86 passengers boarded Nok Air’s Q400 NextGen turboprop aircraft for the inaugural flight last month. As […]

The story Nok Air suspends new domestic route in Thailand after just six weeks as seen on Thaiger News.

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What a shame. The timing clearly wasn’t right, but sadly this will have a negative effect on risk appetite for opening up other routes without Bangkok in the airport pairing. 

Routes such as CNX-NAK open up a lot of flexibility for regional travel. There’s a lot of Thailand to see and it’s a hassle  having to transit Bangkok to get from A to B.

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Just now, BigHewer said:

What a shame. The timing clearly wasn’t right, but sadly this will have a negative effect on risk appetite for opening up other routes without Bangkok in the airport pairing. 

Routes such as CNX-NAK open up a lot of flexibility for regional travel. There’s a lot of Thailand to see and it’s a hassle  having to transit Bangkok to get from A to B.

A big shame, hopefully it will restart. Thailand can be a pain to get around via car only, live 3 hours from the nearest airport, so any relief is always welcome.

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32 minutes ago, BigHewer said:

What a shame. The timing clearly wasn’t right, but sadly this will have a negative effect on risk appetite for opening up other routes without Bangkok in the airport pairing. 

Routes such as CNX-NAK open up a lot of flexibility for regional travel. There’s a lot of Thailand to see and it’s a hassle  having to transit Bangkok to get from A to B.

Obviously direct flights are preferred 

 

But I find flying in Thailand, and the airports, a pleasure, so I am never dreading any travel days

 

I dread having to travel in North America 

It weighs on my mind days before 

Even a trip that has no issues still isn't a great day or pleasant experience 

 

But travelling in Thailand can actually be pleasant and relaxing 

 

So if I have to connect in BKK, although I rarely do, I don't mind it

 

 

At the moment airports in Canada have fallen apart, especially Toronto and to a lesser extent Montreal 

You have to check in 3-4 hours before and trying to connect and clear customs in Toronto is almost assured you won't make your flight and they lose your luggage 

 

So I have been avoiding any trips that aren't direct 

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13 minutes ago, Marc26 said:

Obviously direct flights are preferred 

But I find flying in Thailand, and the airports, a pleasure, so I am never dreading any travel days

I dread having to travel in North America 

It weighs on my mind days before 

Even a trip that has no issues still isn't a great day or pleasant experience 

But travelling in Thailand can actually be pleasant and relaxing 

So if I have to connect in BKK, although I rarely do, I don't mind it

At the moment airports in Canada have fallen apart, especially Toronto and to a lesser extent Montreal 

You have to check in 3-4 hours before and trying to connect and clear customs in Toronto is almost assured you won't make your flight and they lose your luggage 

So I have been avoiding any trips that aren't direct 

I hear you. When I travel to the UK or Australia, I avoid London and Sydney like the plague. Haven’t landed internationally in either for 15 years. Step up Manchester and Cairns. 

If I do a 2 or 3 week trip to Thailand, I like to mix it up a bit and and the oddball pairings (e.g. Khon Kaen-Koh Samui or Chiang Mai-Korat in this case) just make it more flexible.

 

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1 minute ago, BigHewer said:

I hear you. When I travel to the UK or Australia, I avoid London and Sydney like the plague. Haven’t landed internationally in either for 15 years. Step up Manchester and Cairns. 

If I do a 2 or 3 week trip to Thailand, I like to mix it up a bit and and the oddball pairings (e.g. Khon Kaen-Koh Samui or Chiang Mai-Korat in this case) just make it more flexible.

Another great aspect of flying in Thailand is that fares stay very reasonable even up to a day or two before the flight 

So you have the flexibility to not have to lock in a flight so early and make plans on a whim

 

Well on a lot of flights

Samui flights can start getting expensive as the flight day approaches 

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These much smaller markets just don't have the demand.  Betong, in the South, has recently lost its only flights, as well.  The concept of economy airlines filling underserved or unserved markets doesn't make a great deal of sense, economically.  They are in this position for a reason; there just isn't enough of a demand.

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Surprised they cancelled the route. Their usual modus operandi is to take bookings, cancel flights and hold the money for 3 months before refunding.

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BKK>Korat>CNX flights are a good idea, make logistical sense, just not enough customers in Korat to justify the stop; moreover with Khon Kean just up the road. 

For the BKK route, Korat's right on the geo distance line where it's more convenient and cost effective to drive down and back.   The airport is a 30-45 minute drive, give or take, from most residential clusters.   Add 1.5-2-hour show time before a flight, and the flight time to BKK itself, assuming everything's on time.  By then, you'd be arriving in upper-BKK, and retain the flexibility of your own car to get around, and depart home as you like, without the air travel logistics in reverse.  The wonderful new elevated toll-highway between Saraburi and Korat that's just sitting there gathering pigeon poop, will (someday) add to the driving convenience factor. 

Milk Run Flights from BKK>Khon Kean>CNX (and back) a couple times a week are more viable given 3 cities of potential customers.  For Korat people wanting to go up North, makes sense to drive 2-2.5 hours in the correct direction ^^ to Khon Kean, park up and fly the rest of the way up to CNX vs 10-12 hour drive. 

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most people from korat families are in bkk and vice a versa but not so many of them come from chiangmai. So theres little local demand and you can't include the few expats who generally prefer to hang around their houses or the three - five foreign venues in town. Also korat has zero tourism .. pak chong and muek lek have things to do but Korat is just an urban sprawl ... the foreign restaurants in Korat famously all close when there is a holiday, as they all go somewhere with their thai families. The concept of being open when its a national holiday doesnt appeal to them. 

Korat has an old city like chiangmai  but they are like chalk and cheese the korat one is full of stationary shops and other industrial stuff with a few other businesses, at night it gets a little livlier with some noodle bars and other restaurants but there are no tourist shops or foreign food, except for many chez andy (high end restaurant_ maze kitchen (famous for her food), dayas cafe (burger expert) and a couple of others maybe

However it does have a shop specialising in english food "Korat chef" who supply the foreign feeding restaurants and hungry expats. there is one famous foreign bar called moneky bar but thats it.

Frankly unless these airlines are willing to only work on national holidays or peak season or run at a loss subsidised by the thai government its a pointless exercise.

 

 

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13 hours ago, Thai3rdworld said:

Well there are regular flights to Buri Ram not far to  the east of korat.  No need of korat airport .

True that.  Buriram is the source of the Nile for bargirls, so there's a steady flow in that direction buying houses as a place to die.  That'll wrinkle some noses for sure, but it's true, and they rarely fly anywhere save for -20 Baht off happy hour at the local.  

And then there's Kalisan. 🙄  Korat is 5-Star in comparison.

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