SINGAPORE 2014: Nok Air confirms maximum seating on new Q400s

Nok Air, the launch customer for the new Bombardier Q400 extra capacity option, has confirmed that it will use the maximum 86-seat version when it takes delivery of its first aircraft in July this year.

Patee Sarasin, Nok Air’s CEO, announced the decision while discussing the airline’s purchase two Q400s with two options plus purchase rights for four more. “The plan is to take all eight, but at Nok Air we’ve always been cautious about the way we expand. So we’ll be looking at how the [Q400] routes perform,” he remarked. “We aim to get all eight into the fleet within two years though.

“We’ll be going to places the opposition don’t. This strategy will be a part of our expansion in the region, especially into countries around the region which cannot always take 737s, and I’m particularly looking at Myanmar,” Sarasin explained. “Also, wherver we fly, for those runways which cannot take the jets, we can at least get more capacity because the Q400’s speed will enable more rotations.”

The CEO also noted that the carrier’s relationship with SG Aviation, which operates as Nok mini flying Saab 340 turboprops, will continue. “Nok mini plays a strong role in penetrating the small markets. We’re actually initiating those markets. There are so many airports in Thailand which are under-used,” Sarasin remarked.

Bernie Baldwin, editor, Low-Fare & Regional Airlines/

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