Thailand is hoping to lure Malaysia, the second biggest economy in Southeast Asia, to its shores this year, but the Malaysian government says it’s too far from the country.
Thailand, which has seen a boom in tourism, has yet to announce which airlines it will be flying to next year.
But the country’s tourism minister said last week it will include the world’s fourth largest economy, Malaysia, in the mix.
Malaysia is Thailand’s second biggest economic and trade partner, and has been a key economic lifeline to the Southeast Asian country.
It was Thailand’s third biggest airline in 2016, and its second largest after Indonesia and Vietnam.
Malaysia also has the fourth-largest economy in the world.
Malaysia is one of the biggest economies in the region, but Thailand is struggling to attract tourists.
Malay Airlines chief executive Ahmad Jauhari Yahya said in February that the airline had reached a tentative agreement with Thai Airlines to run Bangkok-Kuala Lumpur flights between 2018 and 2028.
The agreement was signed in November and will give Thailand a year to prepare the routes for the flights, he said.
“Thailand is one step closer to being able to compete in the aviation industry,” said Ahmad Jai, chief executive of Thai Airlines.
“It’s an important step forward.”
But Malaysia Airlines has been pushing for more time, saying that it needs Thailand’s cooperation to build its network and reduce costs.
Thailand is Thailand, which is one the biggest airlines in the Southeast Asia region.