Friday, September 15, 2017

Thai targets Croatian, Slovenian passengers

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Thai Airways has said it is targeting travellers to Croatia and Slovenia on its upcoming route between Bangkok and Vienna, it's first new long haul service since 2015. Thai Airways' Acting President and Executive Vice President at the Commercial Department, Usanee Sangsingkeo, said the European market's potential has been growing steadily. "The opening of flights to Vienna this October will enable Thai Airways to serve passengers from Eastern European countries within a 300-kilometre radius. These countries are Croatia, the Czech Republic, Poland, Slovakia and Slovenia with a combined population of approximately 32 million people. We are aiming to carry a sizeable number of these travelers". Late last month, Thai AirAsia X said it was considering launching flights from Bangkok to Croatia next year.

26 comments:

  1. With Emirates dumping its fares from Zagreb like there is no tomorrow, I highly doubt anyone will be using this route.

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    1. Actually EK is not really dumping fares from Zagreb as far as I noticed. Do you have any current examples compared with other airline fares?

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    2. Next month I will fly to BKK by EK.
      BLQ-DXB-BKK-DXB-BLQ, fare EUR 490,00

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    3. 490 is very nice fare, however not within dumping area. As far as I can see, just for some comparison, EK currently has ZAG BKK at 550 EUR.

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    4. In what universe isn't €490 within the dumping range? BLQ-DXB is around six and a half hours and then another nine to Thailand. Even with low CASM and cheaper fuel a fare should not be under €750 for this sector.

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    5. DXB-BKK, a little more than 6 hours flight

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    6. True but still, that's around 24 hours of flying (12 in both directions) and if they charge €450 with taxes it's qualified as dumping.

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  2. You can highly doubt or highly believe, yet one thing is for certain. Croatia has an amazing global brand recognition, it's quickly becoming a top destination with 18 mil tourist arrivals (almost 100 million overnights), so I highly doubt all this will end with EK service. EK service was great to be first as it has a great network through which it can reach various markets, but ...unless EK starts piling up additional flights like crazy, others will be stepping in as well.

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    1. Here it's not about a country's brand but about the availability of air fares on the market.
      Emirates is by far the cheapest because it sells flights for unreasonably little money. Thai can't compete with that especially since they are not doing as well financially.

      Are you telling me that if Thai offers flights for €700 while Emirates is for €350, that people will fly with Thai just because Croatia is becoming a top destination?

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    2. It is nut true that EK is cheapest. Almost any date you search ZAG-BKK return ticket, Turkish and Qatar are slightly cheaper, and has same prices like last year.

      But for sure, it will be cheaper than Thai.

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    3. Emirates offers something like nine daily between Dubai and Bangkok. It's not easy to compete against that. On top of that, EK sends their A380 which is horribly packed so their CASM has been reduced to a minimum.

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    4. In case of travelling from ZAG to BKK, that 9 daily between DXB and BKK means nothing.

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    5. EK does offer some cheap fares, but this pertains to one portion of seats, certainly not all...the seats that sell 2 to 3 months prior to the period of flying normally don't sell for cheap. The last seats (last month) go for more...so if the overall demand is there and is growing, more players get on board. If your theory is true, than no other carriers would show whereever there are ME3 on other airports.

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    6. Destinations like BKK are a bit trickier to be maintained by EU airlines as nons tops since type of demand (vast majority) is such that will easily make a stop anywhere to get a lower fare. That is why you see zillion ME3 flights there, one of their main pumps for feeding EU services. Plus Thailand has open skies policy which just adds to growing capacity. So, many EU airlines decreased their BKK ops, and TG significantly reduced their presence as well. It is a bit easier now with lower fule costs and additional demand (stimulated namely by ME3), so TG slowly comes back to EU.
      That being said, both QR and EK, with some help of TK, has that market in Croatia and Slovenia cemented, so TG cannot expect remotely significant feed to help them in VIE.

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    7. +1 last anon

      A good example of this phenomenon is the market between Germany and Thailand. Every year over 600.000 Germans go there but Lufthansa completely witdrew from the markets leaving Thai, Condor and others to cater for the market.

      That's why I don't think TG will be able to steal any passengers from airlines such as QR or EK.

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    8. It's going to be very, very tough for TG in VIE these days. There are OS and BR with non stop services already there, and pretty significant capacity of EK and QR as additional contenders.

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    9. Don't forget about TK which very often sends widebodies to VIE from IST.

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    10. But they are clearly targeting quite a large market, with 32 million people. And all of those countries have solid economies, growing faster than western Europe. The Poles and Czechs in particular are starting to break their cemented habits and travel to more exotic locations. They might make it indeed.

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    11. Yeah but both WAW and PRG are extremely well covered, Emirates sends their A380 there. Thai is late to the party.

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    12. This presumably doesn't include WAW and PRG, as Poland itself has more than 32 million people. Not all Poles fly out of WAW, nor the Czechs out of PRG.

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    13. Though your argument can apply to Poland it can't really for the Czech Republic as most of the country gravitates to PRG which is in itself the largest market in the country.

      Also, WAW is the only market with air links to the MEB3 hubs indicating that other cities are still not mature enough for these flights, Krakow included.

      For now, airlines will have to satisfy themselves with the two capital cities.

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    14. Czech Republic is a market with over 10,5 million people. So what if most of them gravitate to Prague?? Those in the southeast are closer to Vienna. Then there is Slovakia etc. Free movement of people changed everything. Not to mention that Vienna is an important hub in and of itself. We'll see.

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  3. If they lower fares enough, they may get SOME traffic from Slovenia, but I think Croatia is locked with QR and EK regarding South East Asia and Australia. Even most of Slovenia.

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  4. Tony Fernandes the CEO and founder of AirAsia recently stated on BBC hardtalk interview that he is not interested in expanding into Europe unlit 'the blood bath between the big Middle East 3 is over'.

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    1. Good thinking. There is no way anyone can make money now given how low the fares are. The thing is that I don't see the end of it any time soon.

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