Airline offers deal to help Bangkok "bounce back"

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The Independent Online

Budget carrier AirAsia has launched a new promotion to encourage travel to Bangkok, which has been badly hit by recent political unrest.

The airline announced May 26 that it will offer 10,000 free seats from its international destinations to Bangkok from May 28 to June 1 for the travel period from June 7 to August 31 2010.

The promotion does not include airport taxes and surcharges, applies one way only and must be used for online booking.

The international destinations include Malaysia (Kuala Lumpur and Penang), Myanmar (Rangoon), Cambodia (Phnom Penh), Singapore, Vietnam (Ho Chi Minh City and Hanoi), China (Guangzhou, Shenzhen, Macau and Hong Kong), Taiwan (Taipei) and Indonesia (Bali and Jakarta).

The company's holiday booking site is also offering guests traveling into Bangkok free night offers for hotel stays in Bangkok.

"Tourism receipts contribute heavily to Thailand's economic health," said AirAsia chief Tony Fernandes.

"AirAsia is an ASEAN airline, and we feel duty-bound to support the various communities of the region, Thailand included. The ASEAN region is our home, and so we're putting (in) 110 percent effort to help Thailand bounce back."

Many airlines offered passengers due to travel to Thailand fee waivers for ticket changes after the Thai government imposed curfews following a standoff in Bangkok between protestors and military forces.

Some reports suggest that hotel prices in the city have been slashed by up to 50 percent as hoteliers face trip cancellations or postponements.

STR Global, which monitors global hotel rates and occupancy rates, said earlier this month that the protests were "having a significant negative impact on the city's hotel performance."