With July passenger load factors projected to reach 80% and not 55% as anticipated, Kuala Lumpur-based discount carrier Air Asia credited mainlanders as well as travelers from Hong Kong and Macao with helping to fill up flights on its new Macao-Bangkok run. Air Asia Chief Executive Tony Fernandes said the July tally vindicated the carrier's decision to make Macao its South China base. He said some flights were so packed, flight crews in some cases had to return to base using other carriers. Promotional single fares were priced at only 149 Macao patacas, under US$20. The regular single fare is over US$300.