NokScoot ended 2017 with a record performance since inception that sets the stage for the revival of sustainable growth.
Last year saw Thailand’s leading medium–to-long-haul low cost carrier (LCC) boosting its revenue by 44% from the previous year to THB 5.6 billion, carrying 37% more passengers to record 1.1 million, while boosting its cabin factor to 87%, 8 percentage points over the year earlier.
“The removal of the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO)’s red flag on Thailand’s aviation safety concerns in October last year, helped to reactivate NokScoot’s growth plan,” NokScoot CEO Yodchai Sudhidhanakul said.
That started with the arrival of its fourth Boeing 777-200 wide-body jet towards the end of last year, followed by the inauguration in December of its latest services from Bangkok to Xi’an and the ramp-up of frequencies on its trunk routes to Tianjin, Qingdao and Shenyang, all in China.
“With our enhanced brand awareness, stronger marketing campaigns and increased aircraft utilization rate, our unit costs are dropping,” Mr Yodchai noted.
“The significantly improved operation has resulted in a better bottom-line last year, making it the best performance record since our inception in 2014,” he added.
NokScoot was able to increase the average aircraft utilization rate to 11.5 hours last year, up from 9.4 hours from the year before.
Mr Yodchai believed that NokScoot now has an operating environment that is conducive to move the airline full steam ahead and further improving its financial results.
This year, NokScoot intends to strengthen its all-B777-200 fleet with the addition of at least one more aircraft of that type.
The airline’s inauguration of scheduled services to Japan and South Korea are also due to start this year, pending regulatory approval.
However, NokScoot expects to launch flights to Narita in the second quarter with Osaka and Incheon to follow.
“If our flights to Japan and South Korea take off as planned, they would boost our combined revenue this year by more than 80% to THB 10 billion, yet raising our passenger tally to nearly 2 million.
Our expansion will make a meaningful contribution to the progress of the aviation and tourism industries of Thailand, yet offering the increased travel options for Thai and international tourists alike,” Mr. Yodchai added.
Additionally, NokScoot will work closely with its affiliated Thai budget airline Nok Air, which owns 49% of NokScoot, and members of Value Alliance, the world’s first regional LCC league comprising seven Asia-Pacific airlines.
The collaboration between NokScoot and Nok Air is due to commence in March this year with the introduction of joint baggage check-through services.
Furthermore, passengers of both airlines will be allowed to book all their flights on either Nok Air or NokScoot websites.
Meanwhile, NokScoot is moving to enhance its partnership of codeshare flights and distribution channels with Value Alliance members and their respective partners in 2018.