Increasing cases of Covid-19, especially in Bangkok and surrounding provinces, and a slow vaccination rate has led to Civil Aviation Authority of Thailand (CAAT) to banning airlines from flying passengers in or out of declared “dark-red zones.”
Main picture Nok Air plane at Krabi Airport, credit Binder.donedat on flickr
The travel ban has led to six domestic airlines to cancel many of their flights until the order expires on 2nd August.
THAI Smile and Thai Lion Air have suspended all domestic routes until 3rd August and Thai Vietjet has suspended until 1st August. Thai AirAsia has suspended all flights until at least 31st July. Nok Air has suspended all flights from Bangkok Don Mueang International Airport also until 31st July.
Meanwhile Bangkok Airways has suspended flights on a number of routes, including some to Koh Samui, although Samui Plus flights will continue as planned.
Airlines Struggling To Survive
The Airlines Association of Thailand (AAT) is warning that more than 20,000 employees face losing their jobs in the coming months at airlines affected by the travel ban centred on Bangkok.
AAT have said that if promised financial assistance from the Thai government is not forthcoming, airlines will not be able to meet their financial commitments and either downsize or even go out of business.
There are fears that the current restrictions may continue past 2nd August which would devastate the industry.
Airports of Thailand Extend Concessions
The airlines have received some good news after the state-owned Airports of Thailand (AOT) extended concessions for another five months.
The concessions will see airlines and businesses affected by the pandemic pay reduced charges on office and property rents, terminal and building service charges, landing and parking charges and aircraft service charges.
The concessions will be seen at Bangkok Don Mueang, Phuket, Chiang Mai, Hat Yai, Chiang Rai and Suvarnabhumi airports.
Sources: Thai Enquirer, Bangkok Post, TTG Asia & Simple Flying
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