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It had to happen! FIFO full moon parties in Thailand

September 5, 2013 Destination Thailand, Headline News No Comments Email Email

egtmedia59Full moon parties – the wild celebrations, often fuelled by alcohol and other substances, enjoyed by young tourists on Thai islands – are about to become more accessible.

The isle of Koh Phangan, Thailand’s fifth-largest island and perhaps the spiritual home of full moon parties, is set to be connected directly by air to Bangkok and the Thai mainland for the first time next year. Fly-in fly-out (FIFO) full moon parties will be with us.

Thai entrepreneur Somphong Sooksanguan plans to open an airport on the island in a year’s time, the Bangkok Post reports. 250x250TICBanner

The 46-year-old businessman has reportedly put about THB 200 million (almost AUD 7 million) of his own money into the project and will seek external funding and joint venture partners for the rest. He seeks “a sustainable business that does not place profitability on top”, according to the paper, and he wants any partners to share that vision.

Koh Phangan airport will have a 1100-metre runway and will be served by Kan Air with leased turboprop aircraft including the ATR 42, capable of carrying 50 passengers, from Bangkok, the paper reports.

Service will start with two daily non-stop flights, taking 80 minutes each way.

Somphong is prepared to offer a 30-40% stake in the Phangan airport project (total cost estimated at about THB 900 million (about AUD 31.3 million) to local or foreign partners.

Having built his fortune through a debt-collecting venture, Somphong founded the commuter airline Kan Air and more recently became a 51% stakeholder in Thai VietJet Air, the Thai subsidiary of Vietnam’s first privately owned no-frills carrier, VietJet Air, the Bangkok Post notes.

VietJet Air is a likely joint venture in the Phangan project, Somphong told the paper.

About 2000 tourists a day (almost all foreigners) visit Koh Phangan by ferry. The renowned full moon party on Haad Rin Nok Beach attracts up to 30,000 revellers, who pump about THB 10 million (AUD 347,650) into the island’s economy on that one day and night.

Currently, the nearest airport is on Koh Samui, a bigger island 15 kilometres away. Bangkok Airways connects it daily with the Thai capital.

Written by :Peter Needham

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