Thai AirAsia continues transformation of U-Tapao airport with simultaneous launch of 4 new routes

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Thai AirAsia continued the rapid transformation of U-Tapao-Rayong-Pattaya Airport into Thailand’s newest aviation hub with the introduction of four more routes to both domestic and overseas destinations.

U-Tapao director Rear Adm. Worapol Thongpreecha, Pattaya Mayor Itthiphol Kunplome, and Thai AirAsia CEO Tassapon Bijleveld announced the new flights to Chiang Mai, Udon Thani, Singapore and Macau.

They also updated the public on the ongoing construction at the navy-administered Rayong airport.

Thai AirAsia has launched new 4 routes from U-Tapao to Chiang Mai, Udon Thani, Singapore and Macau.Thai AirAsia has launched new 4 routes from U-Tapao to Chiang Mai, Udon Thani, Singapore and Macau.

TAA set a Thai record for the most new flights launched by an airline in one day, sending four planes to four cities on Nov. 27, all of them at least 80 percent full. Passengers included 60 youths from the north making their first air excursion to the Eastern Seaboard.

“The official launch has marked U-Tapao as the fifth hub for AirAsia and plans have been made to improve the quality and services,” Tassapon said. “We believe that Pattaya, Rayong and other seaside resorts will be a major draw for U-Tapao airport, which is expected to expand in the near future.

“AirAsia has located two Airbus A320 here, designated for flights to Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, Nanning and Nanchang, and now we are launching four more routes.”

He said service to Hat Yai in Songkla Province was set to begin on Dec. 3.

Worapol said U-Tapao’s new passenger terminal will be completed and ready for service in mid-2016. It will be able to serve up to 1,500 people at a time and is estimated to serve millions throughout the year.

Itthiphol said the opening of new routes at U-Tapao gives a big boost to the Eastern Seaboard and particularly Pattaya, which are known as “green tourist destinations” with many attractions to offer.

Projects are underway to improve the airport’s land connections, with results to be seen next year.