Lao Airlines Reinstates Major Routes in New Winter Schedule

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Lao Airlines has released its long-awaited winter schedule, bringing back major routes.

Lao airlines has announced on social media that it will be bringing back certain flight routes and increasing the number of certain routes which were reduced or discontinued during the pandemic.

A tourism insider posted the Lao Airlines flight schedule for the upcoming season to social media, revealing that certain popular flights–including services to Luang Prabang, Siem Reap, and Pakse–will return starting 1 November of this year.

The Lao Airlines winter flight schedule posted to social media.

The addition of these flights has been long awaited by Lao tourism professionals whose industry has been hit hard by a lack of customers.

A tourism professional who spoke to The Laotian Times before the schedule release identified a lack of connecting flights as a serious hindrance to the recovery of the Lao tourism industry, especially because tourists may stay in other destinations due to a lack of connecting flights.

“Important tourist routes are not yet operating,” he said, “especially Luang Prabang to Hanoi, Chiangmai, Siem Reap, and Pakse. If they can at least tell us when they are planning to restart the popular tourist routes we can open the booking system so we can start filling seats and selling tours using them. We can’t sell something that isn’t there.”

Now that these flights have been announced, tours can be planned with more certainty, a benefit to both the tourism industry and the Lao economy as a whole.

While fewer than 200 South Korean tourists entered Laos in the first half of 2022, Lao Airlines increasing its Incheon route to five flights per week will likely draw more South Korean visitors. 

Lao Airlines, which has operated at a loss for several years, is also set to be reformed under a new plan to overhaul state enterprises.