China requests a five-time increase in flights to Thailand

PHOTO: China requests an increase in flights to Thailand. (via iStock)

A rise in Chinese tourism to Thailand may be on the horizon shortly as the Civil Aviation Administration of China has requested quintupling the number of flights between the two countries. There are currently three flights a week between Thailand and China but the Civil Aviation Authority of Thailand announced that they received a letter from the CAAC asking to ramp that up to 15 weekly flights.

China, which has continued to face Covid-19 restrictions and limited international travel possibilities, has historically been a major source of travellers to Thailand, so the possibility of increased flights could be a huge boon to a struggling tourism market. The CAAT said though that these requested flights are mostly for business trips and other travel deemed essential and China’s strict Covid rules are still in place.

With the CAAT’s Chinese counterpart requesting more flights into Thailand, they have suggested reciprocity, asking Thailand to increase flights leaving the kingdom heading to China as well. While they have limited capacity at some of the major airports like Shanghai, Beijing, and Guangzhou, they have asked authorities to give them a list of airlines based in Thailand and potential routes they would be interested in flying. The Chinese airports will then confirm if they can accommodate Thai-based flights.

The idea will be discussed with all the airlines based in Thailand and the CAAT will compile a list to submit to China sometime next week. The flights would then be fast-tracked and, if the airports in China can accommodate them, could launch as soon as September.

While the increase in flight frequency between Thailand and China will be basically for essential travel, for now, it builds the framework for if and when China relaxes its tight pandemic restrictions and tourism can recommence, something the Thai tourism market has been eagerly anticipating.

SOURCE: The Phuket News

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Neill Fronde

Neill is a journalist from the United States with 10+ years broadcasting experience and national news and magazine publications. He graduated with a degree in journalism and communications from the University of California and has been living in Thailand since 2014.

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