Nok Air touches down at Mae Hong Son First and only direct air link with Bangkok in decades
25 March 2018 | Nok Air
Mae Hong Son, (March 25, 2018) - Nok Air today landed smoothly at Mae Hong Son Airport in a maiden flight that re-established the long-awaited direct air link between Bangkok and this northwestern city.
The arrival of flight DD8214, operated by a 72-seat ATR72-500 turboprop, marks a new era for easy connection between the Thai capital and "the city of three mists."
Officiating the launch was Transport Minister Arkom Termpitthayapaisith, Mae Hong Son Governor Suebsak Aiamwijan, Nok Air CEO Mr. Piya Yodmani, Thai Airways International (THAI) Acting President Usanee Sangsingkeo and THAI Smile Acting Managing Director Chatchai Panyoo.
The city was without direct service from Bangkok for decades mainly because of limited demand for both leisure and business travel.
But with Nok Air's newly-introduced services, at three flights a week, Mae Hong Son's economy, particularly its high-potential tourism industry, will be given an impetus.
The launch quickly responds to the Government's recent directive to enhance access to the province whose economic and social development has been in greater focus, said Mr. Piya.
The introduction was also made possible by cooperation extended by THAI and subsidiary THAI Smile which became code-share partners for the flight under the umbrella of THAI Group which the three carriers belong, he added.
Subject to robust demand, Nok Air may step up the Bangkok-Mae Hong Son frequencies, now on Wednesday, Friday, and Sunday, on a daily basis, according to Mr. Piya.
The ATR72-500 turboprop was chosen for the flights because it can operate on the shorter runway at Mae Hong Son airport.
Mae Hong Son Governor Suebsak welcomed Nok Air's decision to offer regular Bangkok-Mae Hong Son service for it would spur the province's development, especially the tourism sector.
"It would help spreading out tourism to the wider area of Mae Hong Son, rather just the current hotspot at Pai," he noted.
Last year, Mae Hong Son attracted 862,219 tourists with total spending of THB 4.17 billion.
Nok Air CEO, Mr. Piya estimated Nok Air could bring in at least 20,000 tourists directly by air to the province this year.
Access to Mae Hong Son by ground transport is a challenge, a mountain road that boasts 1,864 hairpin bends end-to-end.
Nok Air will cover the distance from the Thai capital and Mae Hong Son in one hour and 50 minutes.