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Open-skies policy will benefit consumers only

Consumers stand to benefit the most from the open-skies policy that will kick off under the Asean Economic Community framework next year, according to research by Siam Commercial Bank.

SCB's Economic Intelligence Centre said that with a greater number of players, new promotions are expected, while airlines are also expected to improve safety features to enhance their images.

However, carriers will face greater competition, requiring them to cut unnecessary costs.

Under the open-skies policy, by the end of next year, airlines based in Asean will be able to fly freely across the region to any airport and as often as they want.

Thai Airways International is now the biggest player in the domestic market, with a share of 31.6 per cent. This is followed by Thai AirAsia with 23.2 per cent; Bangkok Airways, 22.5 per cent; and Nok Air, 22.7 per cent. There are several small players like Kan Air, which this year unveiled low-cost VietJet Air Thailand in cooperation with VietJet Air.

Airports of Thailand estimates that in 2015, Suvarnabhumi Airport, Thailand's main gateway, will accommodate more than 56 million passengers and more than 300,000 flights.


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