British Airways have today announced the formation of a new code-share agreement with Bangkok Airways.
The agreement with the Thai airline means that British Airways passengers flying between Heathrow & Bangkok will now be able to connect on to Bangkok Airways flights to the popular southern beach resorts of Phuket & Koh Samui as well as the northern city of Chiang Mai. In addition, British Airways passengers flying into Singapore will also be able to connect onto Bangkok Airways flights between the city state and Koh Samui.
Bangkok Airways was established in 1968 as the first privately owned airline in Thailand. Today, the airline operates a fleet of some 20 aircraft split between Airbus A319 & A320 as well as ATR72-500s. In terms of route network, Bangkok Airways flies to numerous destinations within Thailand and South East Asia and has a reputation for excellent service and reliability. The airline is also unusual in owning 3 of the airports it flies to, most noticeably Koh Samui.
Only yesterday we reported on the fact that Thai Airways had announced the introduction of the A380 on flights between Heathrow & Bangkok from 1st December; this just weeks after British Airways had announced a reduction in capacity, replacing its daily 747-400 service with a smaller 777-200. We had suggested that British Airways might be forced out of the Bangkok market altogether although this latest announcement would strongly suggest that the airline sees a long and healthy future in the Thai market. While the current code-share agreement only covers 3 destinations from Bangkok, it is quite feasible that British Airways could extend the relationship much further and use Bangkok Airways as a feeder for destinations within South East Asia (such as Burma, Cambodia & Laos) that cannot yet support dedicated flights from the UK.