Flights from China over Chinese New Year average 34 daily

PHOTO: Thailand expects 240 flights from China during Chinese New Year. (via eTurbo News)

The skies above Thailand will be full of Chinese flights this week, with 240 scheduled flights over the Chinese New Year. The Aeronautical Radio of Thailand (Aerothai) announced that during the holiday period from January 19 to 25, an average of 34 flights per day are expected to arrive in Thailand from China.

This is expected to bring a significant kick to the tourism industry as Chinese tourists can finally travel to Thailand again after three years of pandemic restrictions. Now 240 flights are forecasted to arrive during the Chinese New Year period. This is a massive increase compared to last year when the Covid-19 pandemic decimated the travel industry.

According to Aerothai, the normal schedule has 18 flights arriving and departing from China, but an additional 16 flights have been scheduled per day during the holiday period. These numbers exclude cargo planes that will also be running daily between China and Thailand.

The main airport hub of Thailand, Bangkok‘s Suvarnabhumi Airport, is expected to handle 75 flights from China, or 11 per day. The secondary airport in Bangkok, Don Mueang International Airport, will see another 52 flights, for 127 flights to Bangkok in total. Phuket International Airport has 78 flights scheduled to arrive from China and Chiang Mai airport has another 35 flights slated.

For the entire month of January, Aerothai forecasts that 37 flights per day on average will connect China and Thailand, totalling 1,160 flights this month. This has led to rosy predictions that this year there will be 36,896 flights from China, more than doubling the total number of plans that travelled last year.

While the numbers seem great, this month’s flight totals from China are still a 91% decrease compared to January 2019. The 1,160 flights for January 2023 are dwarfed by the 12,209 flights from China – 394 per day. Experts are now forecasting that the number of flights from China is expected to recover to pre-pandemic levels next year.

Suvarnabhumi Airport is busy during the holiday though. They announced that the airport is predicting over 1.8 million passengers to arrive between January 16 and 28, an average of 138,461 per day. International tourists are expected to make up 1.3 million of those passengers with another half a million domestic tourists travelling.

International flights would make up about two-thirds of the arriving planes, with 7,635 flights compared to 3,330 domestic flights. This totals 10,965 arriving and departing flights during those 12 days, an average of 843 per day.

These forecasts are a positive sign for the recovery of the tourism industry in Thailand, as the country looks to attract more visitors from China and beyond in the coming months.

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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.