Thailand’s domestic air travel drops 60% after New Year amid second Covid-19 wave

The recent second wave of Covid-19 infections in Thailand has seen domestic air travel in the country drop by 60 per cent since January 1, the Bangkok Post cited data from the Department of Airports. The figures were drawn from 20 airports supervised by the department nationwide, according to its acting director-general Apirat Chaiwongnoi.

Domestic passengers passing through the 20 airports plunged from an average 30,000 a day before the New Year to 12,000, he said. The number of flights fell accordingly from 160 flights operated into and out of the 20 airports on average each day by 40 per cent to around 100 per day after the New Year holidays.

The department said that people were apparently not confident in the effectiveness of Covid-19 quarantine measures imposed by the provinces.

Meanwhile, airlines have been asking for support, including landing fee discounts and other financial relief.

Overall, both domestic and international fights in Thailand dropped by 55% to 464,944 last year, from 1.04 million in the previous year.

Airlines struggle to survive collapse in demand

The crisis has also significant impact on budget airlines. For instance, Thai AirAsia called the latest Covid-19 outbreak “the worst crisis for aviation in Thailand” so far as airlines face even more pressure than during the lockdown last year because people are skipping their travel plans even without a nationwide lockdown order from the government.

Thai AirAsia’s domestic flight numbers shrank by more than 50 per cent as it had to merge and cancel many flights, with the average load factor being far beyond cost-effective figures.

Tassapon Bijleveld, executive chairman of Asia Aviation, the largest shareholder in Thai Air Asia, told the paper that the Covid-19 resurgence has “destroyed” the low-cost carrier.

“We were just rebounding from the first lockdown last year. Despite hardly any profits, at least we could have had a consistent revenue stream from the domestic market. But this outburst of new cases destroyed us,” Bijleveld said.



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The recent second wave of Covid-19 infections in Thailand has seen domestic air travel in the country drop by 60 per cent since January 1, the Bangkok Post cited data from the Department of Airports. The figures were drawn from 20 airports supervised by the department nationwide, according to its acting director-general Apirat Chaiwongnoi. Domestic passengers passing through the 20 airports plunged from an average 30,000 a day before the New Year to 12,000, he said. The number of flights fell accordingly from 160 flights operated into and out of the 20 airports on average each day by 40 per...

The recent second wave of Covid-19 infections in Thailand has seen domestic air travel in the country drop by 60 per cent since January 1, the Bangkok Post cited data from the Department of Airports. The figures were drawn from 20 airports supervised by the department nationwide, according to its acting director-general Apirat Chaiwongnoi.

Domestic passengers passing through the 20 airports plunged from an average 30,000 a day before the New Year to 12,000, he said. The number of flights fell accordingly from 160 flights operated into and out of the 20 airports on average each day by 40 per cent to around 100 per day after the New Year holidays.

The department said that people were apparently not confident in the effectiveness of Covid-19 quarantine measures imposed by the provinces.

Meanwhile, airlines have been asking for support, including landing fee discounts and other financial relief.

Overall, both domestic and international fights in Thailand dropped by 55% to 464,944 last year, from 1.04 million in the previous year.

Airlines struggle to survive collapse in demand

The crisis has also significant impact on budget airlines. For instance, Thai AirAsia called the latest Covid-19 outbreak “the worst crisis for aviation in Thailand” so far as airlines face even more pressure than during the lockdown last year because people are skipping their travel plans even without a nationwide lockdown order from the government.

Thai AirAsia’s domestic flight numbers shrank by more than 50 per cent as it had to merge and cancel many flights, with the average load factor being far beyond cost-effective figures.

Tassapon Bijleveld, executive chairman of Asia Aviation, the largest shareholder in Thai Air Asia, told the paper that the Covid-19 resurgence has “destroyed” the low-cost carrier.

“We were just rebounding from the first lockdown last year. Despite hardly any profits, at least we could have had a consistent revenue stream from the domestic market. But this outburst of new cases destroyed us,” Bijleveld said.



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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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