Mae Hong Son, Thailand – Mrs. Chonakhet Boonkan, the senior president of the Mae Hong Son Chamber of Commerce, has announced that the province’s air travel woes are finally seeing a resolution. Due to the discontinuation of flights between Chiang Mai and Mae Hong Son, as well as direct flights from Don Mueang to Mae Hong Son, the province has been cut off from commercial passenger airlines. Consequently, residents and tourists had been left with a 5-6 hour drive along a treacherous and winding road as the only means of reaching Mae Hong Son.
Recognizing the significance of convenient transportation for both the local economy and the quality of life in Mae Hong Son, various sectors have been working diligently to find a solution. Fortunately, a ray of hope has emerged, as Bangkok Airways is preparing to reinstate its services to Mae Hong Son.
Starting from August 2, 2023, Bangkok Airways will operate three weekly flights on the Bangkok (Suvarnabhumi) – Lampang – Mae Hong Son route. The flights, operated by an ATR 72-600 aircraft, will be available every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday. Passengers traveling from Suvarnabhumi to Mae Hong Son will have a transit stop at Lampang Province for approximately 40 minutes.
Mrs. Chonakhet Boonkan emphasized that the decision to make Lampang the connecting point rather than Chiang Mai was primarily driven by the aircraft capacity factor. Bangkok Airways currently operates flights to Chiang Mai using an Airbus A320, which can accommodate 162 passengers. However, deploying such a large aircraft for the Mae Hong Son route may not be viable due to the expected passenger numbers. Instead, Bangkok Airways has opted for the smaller ATR 72 with a seating capacity of 70 passengers. This aircraft type is already being utilized on the Suvarnabhumi-Lampang route, making it a suitable option to connect to Mae Hong Son.
The reinstated flights will significantly benefit the people of Mae Hong Son living in remote border provinces, as well as tourists eager to explore the beauty of the region. The Chamber of Commerce expressed gratitude to all parties involved, particularly the Thai Chamber of Commerce, for their efforts in facilitating the reopening of the flight route to Mae Hong Son Province. With connectivity restored, the province can once again thrive, welcoming visitors and supporting the local economy.