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Discussion Starter #121
February 06, 2013 16:28

Russia to ship SSJ100 planes to Mexico, Laos, Indonesia in 2013 - UAC president

BANGALORE, India. Feb 6 (Interfax) - Russia will ship two Sukhoi Superjet 100 (SSJ100) passenger jets to the Mexican airline Interjet in mid-2013, United Aircraft Corporation (UAC) President Mikhail Pogosian said at a press conference at the Aero India 2013 air show on Wednesday.

"We have commissioned two Superjet International planes for their adaptation for the Mexican airline Interjet. We will start their shipment in the middle of the year," he said.

Interjet has contracted 30 planes of this type.

The UAC also plans "to bring the number of SSJ100s shipped to Laos to three and ship the first three planes to Indonesia" in 2013, he said.

The plane has good prospects for being supplied to Europe as well, Pogosian said. "The matter primarily concerns regional carriers and low-cost airlines," he said.

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6,226 Posts
Discussion Starter #123
Lao Central Airlines takes delivery of new plane

Lao Central Airlines Public Company (LCA)'s first Sukhoi Superjet 100 touched down at Wattay International Airport on Friday evening, the first of nine to join the airline's fleet.

The plane was flown from Russia where it was manufactured.

LCA and the Sukhoi Civil Aircrafts Corporation of Russia signed a memorandum of understanding for the purchase of the 98-seater jets in May 201 0.

Phongsavanh Group staff and Lao and Russian officials and pilots pose in front of the Sukhoi Superjet 100 at Vientiane's Wattay International Airport.

“We have ordered nine new Sukhoi Superjet 100 aircraft from Russia. The first three will arrive in Laos this year,” Phongsavanh Group Chairman Prof. Dr Od Phongsavanh said at the welcoming ceremony at the airport.

LCA, which is part of the Phongsavanh Group, was established in May 2010 with registered capital of 80 billion kip (US$10 million) to operate commercial air services, both domestically and internationally.

“The first aircraft landed on Friday, the second is expected in May and the third one will arrive in August,” Prof. Dr Od said. “The remaining six jets are expected to arrive in Vientiane next year.”

LCA will hold an opening ceremony for its new jet before it takes to the skies on scheduled flights, according to a handout from the airline.

LCA also has two Boeing 737-400 aircraft, one with 168 seats and the other with 152 seats, which went into service in May last year on the Vientiane-Bangkok and Vientiane-Luang Prabang routes.

The company began operating charter flights between Luang Prabang province and Thailand's Khon Kaen province in December.

The airline plans to add more jet aircraft to its fleet between now and 2015 with a view to operating new routes in Asia and to other continents.

The new planes will play an important role in transporting the growing number of tourists.

The airline is also planning to buy larger aircraft for use on inter-continental flights.

Speaking at a Lao-Thai business discussion meeting recently Prof. Dr Od said “Our new large aircraft will be Boeing 777s that can fly to Paris, the USA, Beijing and Japan. They will arrive in Laos soon.”

The group plans to use the large aircraft for both passenger and cargo flights, and hopes to transport local produce to distant destinations in the future.

The handout noted that the airline is expa nding its fleet because Laos is now a member of the World Trade Organisation and the Asean Economic Community will come into effect in 2015 to boost regional integration.

By Times Reporters
(Latest Update February 18, 2013)

6,226 Posts
Discussion Starter #125
Lao Airlines Plans Guangzhou Service Increase from April 2013
by JL
Update at 0640GMT 05MAR13

As per 05MAR13 GDS timetable and airline’s timetable listing, Lao Airlines plans to add 4th weekly Vientiane – Guangzhou service from 31MAR13. The new flight is scheduled to operate on Sundays, however reservation is not available at present time.

QV881 VTE1310 – 1610CAN 320 x135
QV882 CAN1710 – 1845VTE 320 x135

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Discussion Starter #126
Wattay Airport struggling to handle increased passenger traffic

As the international and domestic terminals at Wattay International Airport in Vientiane become increasingly crowded, the government is planning to revamp both facilities in the interests of passenger comfort.

The existing facilities were built some time ago and are unable to comfortably accommodate the growing number of passengers and aircraft passing through the airport.

The domestic terminal was built before 1966, while the international terminal was built around 1998, Lao Airports Authority Director General, Mr Kongkham Norlaphoum, told Vientiane Times on Monday.

To accommodate more passengers and provide a larger waiting area, the government is planning to expand the international terminal and demolish the domestic terminal.

With the rapid expansion of the Lao economy and increasing investment, the number of tourists and overseas businesspeople coming to Laos is growing, and it has become necessary to upgrade the airport to cater to the increasing traffic.

In 2010, Lao Airlines recorded a total of only 500,000 passengers on their flights, and 600,000 in 2011, but by 2012 the figure had reached 900,000.

Lao Airlines has improved its services and opened up more links within the region. It has added new routes, introduced more flights on existing routes and bought new Airbus and other aircraft.

As the airline adds more flights, the departure lounge and the arrivals hall are becoming more crowded. Passengers are also having to wait longer to get through im migration as queues build up.

The Lao and Japanese governments are currently in discussions about financing for the airport upgrade. Construction of the new international and domestic terminals is expected to get underway in the next few years, said Mr Kongkham.

“We don't know yet how much the project will cost because no studies have been done yet,” he said.

He believes studies will be undertaken soon following agreements by the Lao and Japanese governments.

“Our priority now is to provide passengers with faster services, including check-in and checkout, visas and flights,” he explained.

Officials from the sectors involved will discuss the new systems at a meeting to be held by the Ministry of Public Works and Transport in the coming months.

The government received grant aid from the government of Japan last year and a low interest loan from the government of China to create an aircraft parking space capable of accommodating large planes ahead of the ASEM Summit.

Currently Lao Airlines has scheduled international flights to Bangkok and Chiang Mai in Thailand; Singapore; Siem Reap in Cambodia; Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh in Vietnam; Kunming and Guangzhou in China; and Seoul and Busan in the Republic of Korea.

Within Laos, the airline flies to Bokeo, Luang Namtha, Oudomxay, Luang Prabang, Xieng Khuang, Savannakhet and Champassak provinces.

Lao Airlines plans to open flights to Myanmar and to Phnom Penh in Cambodia in the near future.

By Times Reporters
(Latest Update March 06, 2013) Airport.htm

6,226 Posts
Discussion Starter #128
CLMV nations target 25 million visitors by 2015

Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar and Vietnam (CLMV) are seeking to integrate their tourism industries, aiming to ensure that 25 million tourists visit the four countries by 2015 as targeted.

More tourists have been coming to Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar and Vietnam in recent years.

Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs Mr Bounkeut Sangsomsak stressed the point when addressing Lao media after the CLMV Senior Officials' Meeting held in Vientiane last week. The meeting aimed to prepare for the CLMV Summit to be hosted by Laos on March 11-13.

During the Senior Officials' Meeting, representatives from the four countries discussed tourism cooperation and connectivity as well as how to facilitate tourism activities in their respective countries and attract more tourists to the sub-region. Mr Bounkeut commented that visitor numbers had increased rapidly in recent years. In 2012, the CLMV countries received over 14.8 million visitors, an increase of more than 19.7 percent compared to 2011.

The four countries discussed how to link their tourism networks and integrate their tourism industries by developing the linkages between their major attractions, which are mostly to be found in their older cities.

“If we succeed in linking the tourism sectors of the four countries, the number of tourist arrivals can increase to 25 million people by 2015,” he said.

Director General of the Tourism Development Department, Mr Soun Manivong, told Vientiane Times yesterday that the target of 25 million tourist arrivals was possible by boosting information exchange between the four countries.

We also need to focus on developing high-quality tourism products, attracting investment in the tourism industry and forming partnerships with other nations and international organisations, he added.

Mr Soun said the number of tourist arrivals in Laos reached 3.3 million in 2012, an increase of 22 percent compared to the previous year. Meanwhile, Cambodia welcomed more than 3.5 million tourists in 2012, Vietnam 6.8 million, and Myanmar over 1 million.

The considerable surge in the number of people visiting Laos includes many from China, the Republic of Korea, Thailand and other Asean nations. “We're planning on receiving about 3.9 million tourists in 2015 but I think the figure can be higher because Laos is becoming more integrated into the region,” Mr Soun said.

Since Laos has hosted several noteworthy events, such as the 9th ASEM Summit and Asean University Games in 2012, the country's profile has been raised and there is increasing interest in visiting Laos. The government has opened 23 border crossings, of which 21 issue visas on arrival.

Laos also grants visa exemptions for citizens of other Asean countries as well as those from the Republic of Korea, Japan, Russia, Mongolia, Switzerland and Luxembourg.

Recently, Lao Airlines opened new flights to China and the Republic of Korea and operated charter flights to and from Japan, aiming to boost visitor numbers from those countries.

Lao Airlines also plans to resume flights between Vientiane and Yangon or Mandalay after a new air service agreement was signed recently.

By Times Reporters
(Latest Update March 06, 2013) nations.htm

6,226 Posts
Discussion Starter #133
Laos's LCA to add routes, jets before AEC
Published: 12 Mar 2013 at 00.00Newspaper section: Business
Lao Central Airlines (LCA), a privately owned Laotian carrier staffed mostly by Thais, has an ambitious plan that may supersede the position of the flag carrier, state-owned Lao Airlines.

Wholly owned by Laos's influential Phongsavanh business group, LCA is embarking on a major expansion to strengthen its initial target market _ Laos-Thailand _ and extend its reach to various key Asean cities.

On the radar screen for the longer term is the debut of intercontinental flights, to Europe, from LCA's Vientiane hub with the acquisition of Boeing 777 long-range wide-body jets, LCA chief executive Savanhphone Phongsavanh told the Bangkok Post.

Setting the stage for the aggressive regional expansion of LCA, which only took to the skies in May 2012, is the roll-in of a fleet of Russian-made Sukhoi Superjet 100s that commenced last month.

The Vientiane-based full-service airline signed a contract with Sukhoi Civil Aircraft Co in March 2011 for three single-aisle SSJ100s in a two-class configuration with 93 seats, with an option for an additional six jets.

LCA received the first SSJ100 on Feb 15, making it the first operator of such aircraft in Southeast Asia.

It has also set firm dates for taking delivery of the second and third SSJ100s, in May and August this year.

With the service entry of the three SSJ100s, which are joining LCA's original fleet consisting of two old Boeing 737-400s, the airline intends to gradually launch more than seven international routes in the region.

Over the next few months, LCA will begin regular service from Khon Kaen to Luang Prabang, the second Thailand-Laos route after Bangkok-Vientiane, LCA's first and only international route, said Mrs Savanhphone, the daughter of Laotian tycoon Od Phongsavanh.

Six other international routes in the pipeline are Vientiane to Hanoi, Ho Chi Minh City, Phnom Penh, Siem Reap, Kuala Lumpur, Singapore and Kunming.

LCA is keen to start flying Bangkok-Luang Prabang, a route dominated by Bangkok Airways, but a seat quota under the Thailand-Laos air traffic agreement has already been used up.

Mrs Savanhphone, in her early thirties, did not give a specific launch time frame for every route, though she did say all the Asean-bound routes should be in place by the end of 2015 when the Asean Economic Community takes effect.

She voiced optimism that the AEC would open up the seat quota for the Bangkok-Luang Prabang route.

In the short-to-medium term, LCA will look at acquiring Boeing 737-800 jets to allow longer routes with up to five-hour flying times from Vientiane.

Thailand has become a focus for LCA's sales campaign and publicity, as well as a market catchment area. The carrier recently appointed Thai Star Air Co, a leading Bangkok-based travel agent, as its general sales agent.

LCA operates nine flights a week on the Bangkok-Vientiane route. Plans call for deploying the SSJ100 on the route on March 18, supplementing the service of the two B737-400s.

To quickly capture the market, LCA has come up with promotional fares starting at 3,800 baht round-trip for Bangkok-Vientiane, a sharp discount to the 7,500 baht posted by Lao Airlines and Thai Airways International.

The only other route now operated by LCA is the domestic Vientiane-Luang Prabang with a daily frequency.

Up to 70% of LCA's 100-strong workforce is Thai, including managerial staff, pilots and cabin attendants, as Laos's aviation industry is still in its infancy, LCA officials said.

Mrs Savanhphone said her family, which runs a wide range of businesses in banking, international trade and petroleum, has no intention of seeking an equity partner for LCA.

"That's how we run our business and LCA does not need outside funding," she said.
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