Thailand Budget Airlines


Low cost airlines have been operating in Thailand since the early 2000's. There are a number of Thai-based low cost airlines that fly to many of the smaller domestic cities within the Kingdom as well as many larger cities within the greater Southeast Asia Region. Over the past decade the situation has been in a state  of considerable flux, with airlines being announced (many of which do not see the light of day), start operations, sustain- increase- decrease- suspend- or- cease operations. The carriers mentioned are those which have survived in the cut price, budget airfare market of Thailand.

There are five major and smaller Thai-based airlines currently offering service:

Thai Air Asia- the sister-company to the Malaysia based Air Aisa Corporation. Beginning from October 2012, all Air Asia flights operate from the old Bangkok airport, Don Mueang (DMK). Indeed, the relocation of all Air Asia operations (of Thai Air Asia and all other components of the Air Asia Group) to has made DMK a major airport again.

(Don Mueang Airport - Bangkok MAP)

Nok Air - minority owned by Thai Airways - the flag carrier of Thailand. All Nok Air flights operate from the old Don Mueang (DMK) Airport regardless of destination. Incidently, in the Thai language the word "Nok" means bird (as in the feathered variety), hence the name - Nok Air.

Orient Thai Airlines, which formerly operated domestic flights under the name of One-Two-Go Airlines until bad publicity surrounding a fatal crash in Phuket led to One-Two-Go being grounded (and more, one may read some details here and in the links in that article), and the eventual rebranding of One-Two-Go with the name of its parent Orient Thai.  As of September 2013, this airline operates out of both Bangkok airports with limited destinations within Thailand. 

City Airways is a new Thai LCC, currently serving destinations in Thailand and China (including Hong Kong).  It is based at Don Mueang  Airport.

Solar Air has kept a low profile for a number of years as an operator of small-aircraft flights for Nok Air.  But it has its own services, to Chumphon and sometimes to Hua Hin.  It operates from Don Mueang Airport.

(Suvarnabhumi International Airport - Bangkok MAP) 

Thailand domestic flights is a comprehensive website which can display the current flight schedules of Thai Air Asia, Nok Air, and Orient Thai Airlines.

For detailed information on how to book tickets, pros and cons of using low cost airlines in Thailand and some other general tips, read this TA Inside page.. Click here

Here is some additional information from 2012 on the two airports

Several Low Cost Carrier (LCC) airlines based in other countries also serve Thailand.  These include:

1. Air Asia (the original Malaysian parent of the entire Air Asia Group).

2. Indonesia Air Asia.

3. R Airlines (of Macau) .

4. City Airways (of Hong Kong).

5. Hunnu Air (of Mongolia).

--All 5 of the above-listed carriers operates from Don Mueang Airport, as this is written.  Confirm details before booking and/or going to the airport!

6. Cebu Pacific (of the Philippines).

7. Eastar Jet (of the Republic of Korea).

8. Golden Myanmar Airlines (of Myanmar).

9. IndiGo (of India).

10. JejuAir (of the Republic of Korea).

11. Jetstar Asia Airlines (of Singapore).

12. Jin Air (of the Republic of Korea).

13. Norwegian Air Shuttle.

14. Scoot (of Singapore).

15. Spice Jet (of India).

16. Spring Airlines (of China).

17. TigerAir (of Singapore).

18. TigerAir Mandala (of Indonesia).

19. TigerAir Philippines.

20. T'Way Airlines (of the Republic of Korea).

21. VietJet Air (of Vietnam).

 --All 16 of the above-listed carriers operates from Suvarnabhumi Airport, as this is written.  Confirm details before booking and/or going to the airport!