Another month goes by, another month gets added to the projected completion date for Koh Phangan’s new airport. The airport, which was planned for several years ago but, true to construction schedules in Thailand, still hasn’t been completed, will connect Koh Phangan with Bangkok. Some on the island are opposed. I’m all for it. Not only will it save a long bus and ferry connection from Surat Thani (or a very expensive flight to Koh Samui, for those that can afford it), but it will also make it easier for friends and family to visit what I think is Thailand’s best island.
Now, the airport is scheduled to open next year, and will have about 100 seats worth of flights to and from Bangkok daily. It’s being run by Kan Air, which is one of Thailand’s smaller airlines. I’m skeptical that they can compete with Bangkok Airways and its monopoly on travel to the Gulf of Thailand islands, but I welcome the competition and think it will be interesting to see how things turn out.
Being able to fly directly to Koh Phangan would change a lot. It would be very upsetting for the ferry companies, which currently make a lot of money ferrying people between Donsak and Koh Phangan, and across the sea from Koh Samui. It would also be an annoyance for Bangkok Airways, which makes lots of money through its ownership of Samui Airport. Let’s see how things turn out once the airport is ready and open (possibly in 2017, 2018 or 2019…).