Lao Central Airlines (LF, Vientiane) has revised its planned resumption of services date from mid year, to year-end airline chairman and chairman of its parent firm, Phongsavanh Group, Prof. Od Phongsavanh, has said. The relaunch will be timed to coincide with Laos' entry into the ASEAN Economic Community (AEC) common market.

Using its sole aircraft - an SSJ 100/95 parked at Vientiane - Lao Central will resume flights to Luang Prabang domestically and to Bangkok Don Mueang regionally before partnering Khon Kaen airport in Thailand in launching regional tourist flights to Vientiane, Da Nang, and Siem Reap. Thereafter, flights to Phnom Penh, Hanoi, Kuala Lumpur, Singapore Changi, Naypyitaw and Hong Kong Int'l are planned.

In an interview with the Vientiane Times newspaper, Od said the airline intends to acquire four B777-200s and eight B737 MAXs for use on flights to Europe and Russia - Vladivostok and Moscow in particular. It has reportedly been able to finalize terms with Sukhoi Civil Aircraft (Zhukovsky) which will allow for the delivery of its three outstanding SSJ 100-95s.

The carrier claims it is also in consultation with British Airways (BA, London Heathrow) and Lufthansa (LH, Frankfurt Int'l) about a proposed Initial Public Offering though no firm dates have been set.