THAI AirAsia will trim its daily Bangkok-New Delhi flights to thrice-weekly starting February 14, and completely withdraw the service by March 24.
The announcement comes one week after AirAsia X revealed its plans to cut Kuala Lumpur flights to Mumbai and New Delhi (TTG Asia e-Daily, January 13, 2012), where airport and handling costs are already more expensive than in Australia.
The high operational costs, combined with rising fuel prices, are threatening the viability of the low-cost business model in India. Tassapon Bijleveld, CEO of Thai AirAsia, said: “As a result of these factors, it is necessary for us to suspend services between Bangkok and Delhi.”
Meanwhile, the carrier has decided to realign its focus on domestic connectivity, inaugurating daily Bangkok-Trang services on January 15. Daily Bangkok-Nakhon Phanom flights will start from February 15.
A new international service will follow on March 1, offering daily flights from Bangkok to Colombo (TTG Asia e-Daily, January 10, 2012).