Thailand’s airports to remain closed for international flights until September


Thailand could open its airports for international flights only in late September, the country’s Khaosod newspaper quoted Civil Aviation Authority of Thailand director Chula Sukmanop as saying.

The official noted that none of the airlines he met had expressed interest in resuming their international flights by July, when the order shutting down the country’s airspace due to the coronavirus crisis would expire. He attributed the reluctance to uncertainty over the government’s policies on international travel.

“I believe international flights will resume this September,” Sukmanop said, adding that airlines could not assess the demand for air travel and would have to wait and see how the situation develops.

He went on noting that “the government has to make a final decision before the country’s airspace could be open, but it does not mean an all-out opening for air travelers, since only business people would be allowed to take the flights under the so-called travel bubble proposals.”

“Back to normal” not before October 2021

Airport operator Airports of Thailand (AoT) predicts a total resurgence of 493,800 flights and approximately 66.58 million passengers between October 2019 and September 2020. The assumptions are made based on analysing a limited number of domestic flights in May factoring in a slow ramping up of flight schedules.

However, AoT president Nitinai Sirismatthakarn said he believed getting back to normal volume will take longer. Looking at the long-range forecast for recovery, Sirismatthakarn expects flights won’t return to “normal” – meaning to pre-Covid-19 levels – not before October 2021. For the rest of this year, the Thai aviation sector is expecting a significant drop in flights and passenger numbers.

“Recovery of international routes will depend on how quickly a vaccine or antiviral drugs can be made available,” he said.

Total flights and passengers would drop by around 45 and 53 per cent, respectively, as a fallout of the pandemic, Sirismatthakarn told The Nation.



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Thailand could open its airports for international flights only in late September, the country’s Khaosod newspaper quoted Civil Aviation Authority of Thailand director Chula Sukmanop as saying. The official noted that none of the airlines he met had expressed interest in resuming their international flights by July, when the order shutting down the country’s airspace due to the coronavirus crisis would expire. He attributed the reluctance to uncertainty over the government’s policies on international travel. “I believe international flights will resume this September,” Sukmanop said, adding that airlines could not assess the demand for air travel and would have to...


Thailand could open its airports for international flights only in late September, the country’s Khaosod newspaper quoted Civil Aviation Authority of Thailand director Chula Sukmanop as saying.

The official noted that none of the airlines he met had expressed interest in resuming their international flights by July, when the order shutting down the country’s airspace due to the coronavirus crisis would expire. He attributed the reluctance to uncertainty over the government’s policies on international travel.

“I believe international flights will resume this September,” Sukmanop said, adding that airlines could not assess the demand for air travel and would have to wait and see how the situation develops.

He went on noting that “the government has to make a final decision before the country’s airspace could be open, but it does not mean an all-out opening for air travelers, since only business people would be allowed to take the flights under the so-called travel bubble proposals.”

“Back to normal” not before October 2021

Airport operator Airports of Thailand (AoT) predicts a total resurgence of 493,800 flights and approximately 66.58 million passengers between October 2019 and September 2020. The assumptions are made based on analysing a limited number of domestic flights in May factoring in a slow ramping up of flight schedules.

However, AoT president Nitinai Sirismatthakarn said he believed getting back to normal volume will take longer. Looking at the long-range forecast for recovery, Sirismatthakarn expects flights won’t return to “normal” – meaning to pre-Covid-19 levels – not before October 2021. For the rest of this year, the Thai aviation sector is expecting a significant drop in flights and passenger numbers.

“Recovery of international routes will depend on how quickly a vaccine or antiviral drugs can be made available,” he said.

Total flights and passengers would drop by around 45 and 53 per cent, respectively, as a fallout of the pandemic, Sirismatthakarn told The Nation.



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Investvine has been a consistent voice in ASEAN news for more than a decade. From breaking news to exclusive interviews with key ASEAN leaders, we have brought you factual and engaging reports – the stories that matter, free of charge.

Like many news organisations, we are striving to survive in an age of reduced advertising and biased journalism. Our mission is to rise above today’s challenges and chart tomorrow’s world with clear, dependable reporting.

Support us now with a donation of your choosing. Your contribution will help us shine a light on important ASEAN stories, reach more people and lift the manifold voices of this dynamic, influential region.

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Donation Total: $10.00

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