One-Two-Go, the budget airline whose jet crashed on the Thai resort isle of Phuket on Sunday, killing 88 people, was one of the first low-cost operators to spring up in the southeast Asian tourist haven.

One-Two-Go and its parent company, Orient Thai, operate a fleet of six Boeing 747s and seven McDonnell Douglas MD-82s, according to the airline's Web site (

Bangkok-based One-Two-Go opened in December 2003, and operates 168 flights a week, carrying 150,000 passengers a month domestically as well as to Hong Kong and South Korea.

Demand for cheap air travel from locals and foreigners alike has spurred massive expansion in the budget airline sector in the last decade in the region.

Despite a number of crashes and safety scares involving budget operators, especially in Indonesia, analysts say there is no hard evidence to suggest they are more accident-prone than full-service carriers.

In March, the European Union lifted a ban on Thailand's Phuket Air after the company addressed Brussels' safety concerns.

One-to-Go chairman Udom Tantiprasongchai said the MD-82 that crashed at Phuket was being flown by an experienced, foreign pilot. The planes were leased from abroad and were 100 percent insured, he told Thailand's ITV news channel.

Tomorrow the police will set up an investigating committee to find out what actually caused the accident. What we need to do right now is take care of the injured, he said.

It will take a week to study the black box.

The flight from Bangkok was trying to land in torrential rain and survivors spoke of turbulence as the plane approached the runway.

Other small operators in Thailand include Nok Air, Thai Air Asia, Phuket Air and Bangkok Airways. More than 12 million people visit Thailand each year, many of them on package tours from Europe.