Major international airport hubs in Southeast Asia are saeeing a gradual recovery in the number of flights, but are still well below pre-pandemic levels.
Main picture Bangkok Suvarnabhumi airport credit Jo on flickr
It is hoped that increased restrictions following the emergence of the Omicron variant of Covid-19 will not halt the recovery especially with many areas heading into high-season.
Changi Airport in Singapore is now reported to one-third of pre-pandemic levels, a significant increase on just one month ago. Prior to the pandemic it was one of the busiest airports in Asia.
According to data from flight tracker FlightAware, reported in The Straits Times, the trailing seven-day average number of flights passing through the airport was 359 on Thursday 9th December.
The increase is driven by increasing numbers of freight flights which is now at a higher level than pre-pandemic, helped by global supply issues from traditional sea-routes and increased demand as many economies are growing.
Commercial flights have seen a slower increase, helped by the recently launched Vaccinated Travel Lanes (VTL). However these are still limited and seeing relatively small numbers and commercial flights are significantly lower than in 2019.
Airports in Thailand have seen international flight reservations jump by more than 20% in December compared to last month as restrictions continue to be relaxed and more areas, including Bangkok, become accessible to international travllers.
The Bangkok Post is reporting that the Airports of Thailand have stated that confirmed slots for airlines from overseas destinations accounted for 9,483 flights so far this month, a 24% rise from November.
A total of 17,132 flights are expected to land at its airports in the last two months of this year, most of them in December.
The company operates Suvarnabhumi and Don Mueang airports in Bangkok as well as international airports in Chiang Mai and Phuket.
The reopening of Bangkok has been key in attracting more international travellers, as most international arrivals will at least transit through the capital. There have been 186,938 international arrivals since 1st November mostly through Bangkok and Phuket airports.