Chiang Mai start?

Old Jan 6, 17, 4:28 am
  #1  
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Chiang Mai start?

Any news on when the announced service to CNX will start? Looked at various threads here and also on the QR website and it isnt clear!

Do we know why the original start date was postponed?

Given it will likely be a low yield route will QR put on an older aircraft? Or is there a chance CNX will be serviced by 787/350?

Thanks!

DB
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Old Jan 6, 17, 5:22 am
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Originally Posted by drb1979 View Post
Any news on when the announced service to CNX will start? Looked at various threads here and also on the QR website and it isnt clear!

Do we know why the original start date was postponed?

Given it will likely be a low yield route will QR put on an older aircraft? Or is there a chance CNX will be serviced by 787/350?

Thanks!

DB
They seem to have removed it even from the planned 2017 routes... If they do start it, maybe even an A320?
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Old Jan 6, 17, 10:34 pm
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Allocating one of their longer-range narrow-bodies to start the (currently dropped) new route non-stop from Doha might actually make sense. Isn't that one reason to have these aircraft, to launch thiner-routes to secondary-destinations like CNX ?

Certainly more than doing a one-hour extension, on an A330 from RGN both ways, which was the original plan, and which appears to have failed to excite sufficient demand.

The launch-pricing was also IMHO a total cock-up, swinging wildly between slightly-overpriced to ridiculous, and probably contributed to QR's failure to take advantage of being first-comer on the Gulf-CNX route.

There is an outbound-from-CNX market, where the appeal would be to match prices on the indirect (via BKK) routes, while saving a few hours each-way by flying direct from a quieter/quicker-to-transit regional-hub for northern-Thailand. We're also keen up here, going on casual conversation with other expats, to avoid the stress/nuisance of having to recover our bags in BKK & go check-in all over again !

But most demand would surely come from inbound tourist-traffic, ie not especially Premium-class/priced, to a top-10 tourist-destination. Launching with a narrow-body, and building frequency/capacity onto a wide-body later, still seems the best way to go.

I myself booked a return CNX-DOH-LHR in May-2017, for B27,500 during a sale, but have now been rebooked to CNX-BKK-DOH-LHR, so I don't expect this route to launch any time soon, sadly.

Had that price been maintained, rather than raised to the B37-39k range, then I personally would still have booked at-least two more tickets for this year. Whereas having to route via BKK anyway, I am therefore booked on cheaper alternatives, despite the hassle of reduced-opportunities for interlining in BKK.

One might have thought that a city of a million people, and a good inbound-tourist trade, might have justified a direct-link to the Gulf, and Qatar were our best hope ?

Maybe Etihad might use one of the Jet-Airways narrow-bodies, to launch a direct route from BOM to CNX, with onward-links to AUH and the World ? But they seem to have bigger problems to tackle, first.

And I can't see Emirates opening the route, with their larger aircraft, unless they're very optimistic or have deep pockets ?

All just one person's opinion, obviously.
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Old Jan 8, 17, 4:06 pm
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As per the media release on Qatararways.com flights to Chiang Mai will start from 31 October 2017 four times weekly
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Old Jan 8, 17, 4:25 pm
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Rusi KG welcome to FlyerTalk and especially the QR forum. Try using the dashboard to quickly find many useful hints and tips.

Since I cannot recall seeing this item before can you post post the link to the media release you refer to?
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Old Jan 10, 17, 3:25 am
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Thanks Remdk for tips and warm welcome. Here is the link regarding Chiang Mai service https://www.qatarairways.com/iwov-re...%20English.pdf
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Old Jan 10, 17, 8:50 am
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Thank you for your responses!

I too am surprised there is no existing service from the Middle East to CNX.

Besides BA(yuk!) via BKK and codeshare with Bangkok Air, CX is the only Oneworld carrier with easy access from Europe via HKG. Not a bad way to travel however CX not always competitive pricewise!

However I hope QR dont use the A320 when they eventually start service - that would be too long a flight, even in Business, with the current hard product QR have in their A320s. The flight would be over 6 hours!
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Old Jan 12, 17, 11:35 pm
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Originally Posted by drb1979 View Post
Thank you for your responses!

I too am surprised there is no existing service from the Middle East to CNX.

Besides BA(yuk!) via BKK and codeshare with Bangkok Air, CX is the only Oneworld carrier with easy access from Europe via HKG. Not a bad way to travel however CX not always competitive pricewise!

However I hope QR dont use the A320 when they eventually start service - that would be too long a flight, even in Business, with the current hard product QR have in their A320s. The flight would be over 6 hours!
Agreed on the pain but they do do this on a number of over 6 hours routes, such as Zanzibar.

And as per others have mentioned, it would make sense for QR to use such a plane for such routes.
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Old Jan 14, 17, 2:55 am
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Originally Posted by drb1979 View Post
Thank you for your responses!

I too am surprised there is no existing service from the Middle East to CNX.

Besides BA(yuk!) via BKK and codeshare with Bangkok Air, CX is the only Oneworld carrier with easy access from Europe via HKG. Not a bad way to travel however CX not always competitive pricewise!

However I hope QR dont use the A320 when they eventually start service - that would be too long a flight, even in Business, with the current hard product QR have in their A320s. The flight would be over 6 hours!
I know what you mean, having used Jet Airways' B738s in Economy between BOM & BKK for a few years ... but ... if that was the only way to launch the route, and then move to a wide-body as volumes & frequencies grew, I think it would still be acceptable for a year or so ?

Given that the alternative is no new route at-all !

Viewed from CNX, whichever of the three major Gulf-based carriers is first onto the route, they have an excellent opportunity to build loyalty amongst locals & expats alike, using their ff-programme.

Thus reducing the ease with which the other two might follow them ?
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Old Dec 15, 17, 8:51 pm
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Welcome to QR on the Doha-Chiang Mai route, the first flight finally took place a few days ago, they seem to be scheduling an A330-200 four-times weekly through the winter.

Previously only December-March were loaded on to the booking-site, however they've now just added flights through the summer, using an A319 four-times weekly but with a tech-stop in RGN scheduled on the DOH-CNX leg (though not on the returns). The A332 then resumes through the (busier) winter-season.

Presumably we're benefitting from aircraft being more available, due to the embargo-problem in the Gulf, but whatever if it works ! Qatar are the best-option equipment-wise, to launch this route with sensible frequency now, and their range of larger planes to bring in as demand rises & the route becomes more-established.

One can only hope that the local expat-community support it, as well as the much-more-important inbound-tourist trade. So Good Luck & Thank You QR !

Prices seem a little high at present, circa B30k for me on CNX-DOH-LHR which I need to fly 4-5 times in 2018, will just have to hold-off booking until the January-Sale ? And the isolated cheaper mid-week fare of B25-26k in January, unfortunately I'd already booked QR out of Bangkok with connecting-flights CNX-BKK-CNX on Bangkok Airways, several months ago before we heard that they might have another try at starting the route.
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Old Dec 15, 17, 10:21 pm
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Originally Posted by Richard Bell View Post
Welcome to QR on the Doha-Chiang Mai route, the first flight finally took place a few days ago, they seem to be scheduling an A330-200 four-times weekly through the winter.

Previously only December-March were loaded on to the booking-site, however they've now just added flights through the summer, using an A319 four-times weekly but with a tech-stop in RGN scheduled on the DOH-CNX leg (though not on the returns). The A332 then resumes through the (busier) winter-season.

Presumably we're benefitting from aircraft being more available, due to the embargo-problem in the Gulf, but whatever if it works ! Qatar are the best-option equipment-wise, to launch this route with sensible frequency now, and their range of larger planes to bring in as demand rises & the route becomes more-established.

One can only hope that the local expat-community support it, as well as the much-more-important inbound-tourist trade. So Good Luck & Thank You QR !

Prices seem a little high at present, circa B30k for me on CNX-DOH-LHR which I need to fly 4-5 times in 2018, will just have to hold-off booking until the January-Sale ? And the isolated cheaper mid-week fare of B25-26k in January, unfortunately I'd already booked QR out of Bangkok with connecting-flights CNX-BKK-CNX on Bangkok Airways, several months ago before we heard that they might have another try at starting the route.
Just to clarify, the RGN stop is not a techstop, RGN/CNX are being combined 4 times a week on a circular routing DOH-RGN-CNX-DOH but with no traffic rights RGN-CNX, so pax boarding in RGN will only be bound to DOH.
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Old Jun 22, 18, 9:01 pm
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Recently flew CNX-DOH, which was at-least two-thirds full, and two weeks later on DOH-RGN-CNX, which was three-quarters full DOH-RGN and even fuller on the 45-minute hop RGN-CNX, which bodes well for this route IMO.

As expected the A319LR without seat-back AVOD was a pain, but I knew in-advance so took a book, it was still MUCH better than having to travel via BKK with all the crowds & delays caused by using (on cost grounds) two tickets/PNRs !

Looking ahead to summer-2019, and in anticipation of there being realistic-fare quoted at some time (B27k-B29k for CNX-DOH-LHR return is IMO over-the-top !), I note that they are currently showing the A319 again. I think this would be a mistake, as I'm already hearing negative-reaction on-the-ground to the lack of seatback-AVOD.

In case anyone from QR is listening, I would politely suggest that one of their better-equipped under-used slightly-larger A320s should be used, and some sort of promotional-fares to help grow the new route. They've been too-quick to try to hike fares on a new route, but then-again that's a wider fault with QR, currently.

This would have the added-advantage for QR of making their sole 110-seat A319LR available for other newly-launched routes (like UTP ?) where loads are still building ?
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Old Jun 22, 18, 9:29 pm
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Originally Posted by Richard Bell View Post
Recently flew CNX-DOH, which was at-least two-thirds full, and two weeks later on DOH-RGN-CNX, which was three-quarters full DOH-RGN and even fuller on the 45-minute hop RGN-CNX, which bodes well for this route IMO.

As expected the A319LR without seat-back AVOD was a pain, but I knew in-advance so took a book, it was still MUCH better than having to travel via BKK with all the crowds & delays caused by using (on cost grounds) two tickets/PNRs !

Looking ahead to summer-2019, and in anticipation of there being realistic-fare quoted at some time (B27k-B29k for CNX-DOH-LHR return is IMO over-the-top !), I note that they are currently showing the A319 again. I think this would be a mistake, as I'm already hearing negative-reaction on-the-ground to the lack of seatback-AVOD.

In case anyone from QR is listening, I would politely suggest that one of their better-equipped under-used slightly-larger A320s should be used, and some sort of promotional-fares to help grow the new route. They've been too-quick to try to hike fares on a new route, but then-again that's a wider fault with QR, currently.

This would have the added-advantage for QR of making their sole 110-seat A319LR available for other newly-launched routes (like UTP ?) where loads are still building ?
I believe the A319LR have streaming IFE in Economy, https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/oryx...341761030?mt=8

Not great but better than no IFE at all.
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Old Jun 22, 18, 11:00 pm
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Originally Posted by N1Rotate View Post
I believe the A319LR have streaming IFE in Economy, https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/oryx...341761030?mt=8

Not great but better than no IFE at all.
I can confirm that, although some people appeared to have trouble making it work, but I don't myself carry my laptop when travelling, I'm just trying to prompt them for a better inflight-experience ... if they ever listen to the paying-customers !

As I've said before, I DO appreciate that they've maintained the new route through the quieter summer-season, and look forward to the better A332 in November & February as well as another trip in September on the A319.
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Old Jun 23, 18, 5:44 pm
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Originally Posted by N1Rotate View Post
I believe the A319LR have streaming IFE in Economy, https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/oryx...341761030?mt=8

Not great but better than no IFE at all.
There's also an Android version , search for Oryxoneplay , worked well on my phone but not on my (older) tablet.
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