SilkAir: Another Pan ASEAN Airline Servicing Laos
The airspace above the verdant mountain landscape of Laos is becoming busier with the advent of Air Asia’s daily departures from Bangkok to Luang Prabang and Vientiane in early 2016.
Singapore Airlines (SIA), with their full service regional subsidiary, SilkAir, announced the opening of new air transport on the circular route: Singapore – Vientiane – Luang Prabang – Singapore. Silk Air will operate three weekly departures on Monday, Thursday and Saturday starting 31 October 2016.
SilkAir will become the 8th foreign airline to serve the fast growing international market of Laos and only the second airline operating in all ten ASEAN countries after Air Asia. SilkAir will provide up to 900 seats weekly operated as one of Singaporean Air’s 400 weekly departures servicing 49 destinations in 13 countries.
On one hand, the Singaporean market consists of less than 50,000 annual passengers visiting Laos, only the 12 largest source market for the Laos tourism sector. While on the other hand, the newly announced service means SilkAir connects passengers in Vientiane and Luang Prabang to a huge choice of international airlines and destinations from their Singapore gateway, Changi Airport. This opportunity is currently only possible through Bangkok until SilkAir begins their service later this year.
The new rooting is only one step to connect Laos to international markets and the interconnectivity of Southeast Asia in general. With better accessibility and connectivity, the future of a healthy and fairly competitive airline industry in the Lao skies looks bright. Air Asia and HK Express have also both announced potential new routes connecting Kuala Lumpur and Hong Kong with the booming tourism destination and UNESCO World Heritage Site of Luang Prabang in northern Laos.
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