Muscat: Budget carrier Thai AirAsia X is suspending its Muscat operations from January 19, 2017, the airline has announced.
Thailand’s first low fare, long haul airline operates two flights a week to the Don Mueang International Airport in Thailand from the Muscat International Airport with Airbus A330-300s.
“Thai AirAsia X announces the suspension of its service between Bangkok and Muscat, starting January 19, 2017 onwards. Both our Thai AirAsia X flights, XJ555 and XJ556, will remain suspended,” a statement sent by Thai AirAsia X to the Times of Oman, said.
Passengers with bookings on the affected dates can change to an earlier flight between December 19, 2016 and January 14, 2017 at no additional cost.
“The change will only be permitted one time, and subject to seat availability. We are also offering a transfer cost of flight to a 180-day credit shell that can be used for the purchase of goods and services from AirAsia via www.airasia.com (such as flight tickets, pick-a-seat, pre-booking meals, baggage weight fee) or passengers can also receive full refund via the channel through which payment for the booking was made,” the official said.
Passengers can contact the AirAsia Call Centre in Thailand at +662-515-9999 or in Oman at Tel +968-2478-0016 (Sunday to Thursday) to receive assistance or submit your request via an E-Form at http://www.airasia.com/th/en/e-form.page today (Monday) onwards.
“Thai AirAsia X apologises for any inconvenience and affirms it will continue to serve flights from Bangkok to Tokyo and Osaka, Japan, Seoul, South Korea and Shanghai, China as usual,” it added. Travel agents in Oman said the summer was good for AirAsia X but after that, load factor had dropped drastically which prompted them to shelve their Muscat operations.
Passengers were not able to book their tickets online for January, 2017. “I had been trying hard to book tickets through their website for the beginning of 2017 but every time the website merely said ‘Looks like the flights for this date are unavailable or sold out. Please select another date or refer to our flight schedule for details,’” said Satish, an Indian expat who was planning a January-end vacation in Thailand.
The airline had launched Muscat to Thailand operations with three times a week (Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday) flight in June 2016.
More than 72,000 Omani tourists visited Thailand between January and August, 2016. “As of 31 October, 2016, we had a total of 27,076,308 tourists from all over the world visiting Thailand this year,” the official added.
Omanis do not require a tourist visa to visit Thailand for a period of 30 days. “They can also apply for a multiple-entry visa with six months validity and entitlement to stay for a period of 60 days at a time. Those wishing to seek medical treatment can apply for a 60-day medical tourist visa, which can be renewed up to six months, depending on submission of supporting documents from hospitals,” according to the Thailand Embassy in Oman.