The first Jetstar service from Singapore to Hat Yai in Thailand will take off today to Hat Yai International Airport with a full flight of 180 holiday-makers, ahead of the start of the school holidays here.

Operated by Singapore-based Jetstar Asia, the new service, announced in July, provides more choice for customers seeking a direct low-fare option between both cities. Hat Yai will be the third city in Thailand that Jetstar Asia will fly to.

“We are very pleased to announce that our first flight from Singapore to Hat Yai is operating at full loads and we continue to see strong bookings in the coming months as well,’ said CEO of Jetstar Asia, Bara Pasupathi.

“Jetstar’s direct services between Singapore and Hat Yai brings greater choice for local and international travellers in terms of low fares and schedule,” Mr Pasupathi said.

“The schedule of our flights will better suit families and young working professionals as they will be able to maximise their weekend in Hat Yai with Friday evening departures and returning on Sunday or Monday.

Hat Yai is the largest city in the Songkhla Province, south-east of Thailand. With more than 1.4 million people in the Province, the area is the centrefor trade, tourism, transportation and higher education in southern Thailand.

Recognised as an entertainment tourism city, Hat Yai is also famous for its seafood and lively nightlife. Famous shopping places include the Kimyong market, Satisuk market and Hat Yai City Square among others.

The Songkla Province is also a rich cultural repository of Chinese, Thai and Muslim heritage, dating back to the 14th century.

Mr Kittiya Kontong, Director of Hatyai International Airport said: “We are very pleased to welcome Jetstar Asia’s direct services from Singapore to Hat Yai as the service will add more than 70,000 seats in capacity a year for Southern Thai and international visitors to fly between Singapore and Hat Yai.”

Hat Yai International Airport currently handles more than 3.5 million people a year and is expected to expand to a capacity of 4.5 million by 2018.

The new service operates on Airbus A320 aircraft on Monday, Wednesday Friday and Sunday, with a flight-time of about one hour and forty minutes.

The Jetstar Group currently operates up to 74 weekly flights to four destinations in Thailand – Bangkok, Phuket, Chiang Mai and Hat Yai.

Jetstar Asia’s network continues to deepen within the region with inaugural flights to Okinawa in Japan on 17 November and Clark in the Philippines on 28 November.