Submitted on Mon, 2015-01-12 15:47
The Transport Ministry has urged low cost airlines not to cut air fares too low after tour bus operators complained that they have lost a significant number of customers.
The move came after tour bus operators complained in December 2014 that they were losing customers to low cost airlines and urged the Ministry to do something.
Transport Minister Air Chief Marshall Prajin Juntong told reporters on Friday that the Ministry will ask low-cost airline operators not to reduce airfares so much that it affects other transportation businesses, especially tour buses.
The Ministry revealed in December that it had found that the number of bus customers has decreased, especially to the big cities in the North, Northeast and South. This is partly due to competitive fares from low-cost airlines.
“We found that Lion Air offers a Bangkok-Phuket airfare at 650 baht, which is at the same price as the tour bus fare. Therefore, we must look into the operation, maintenance and service costs of low cost airlines to see what the fares should really be. If we find that the fares are lower than the costs, we must ask for the reasons. Fares which are lower than costs can damage the low cost airline and the bus industry,” said Air Chief Marshall Prajin after the meeting with tour bus operators in December.
After the news got out, the Minister received widespread criticism that this thoughtless measure shows that the unelected junta government cares more for the operators than the people.