Thai AirAsia predicts 90% post-pandemic recovery

FILE PHOTO: Thai AirAsia predicts a 90% recovery after Covid for 2023.

Thai AirAsia is predicting a great year next year, forecasting passenger load to reach 90% of the levels it was at before the Covid-19 pandemic. The rosy outlook was stated as foreign arrivals have been pouring into Thailand. The popular budget airline also has faith that the mega-demographic of Chinese tourists will be able to rejoin the tourism world next year.

The recovery can already be seen at the tail end of this year with the number of passengers on AirAsia planes spiking, according to Thai AirAsia CEO Santisuk Klongchaiya. In fact, Thai AirAsia has seen more than triple the number of passengers in 2022 than in 2021. Last year 2.93 million seats were filled while this year will see over 10 million travellers on flights.

Thai AirAsia’s CEO cited several industry statistics backing up their hopeful forecast. They said the aircraft utilization rate – a figure airlines use that represents how many hours per day the aircraft is actually in use rather than sitting idle – hit 12 hours last month.

And the cabins inside the airplanes are more full too. Thai AirAsia calculates they will hit 81% seat occupancy by the end of this month. The airline has been competitive domestically as well, grabbing a 32% share of the Thai domestic market. That dominant market share is in part because they have 53 planes, the largest fleet of any budget airline operating in Thailand.

Related news

Thai AirAsia said that domestic travellers have been a strong and steady market and will complement the booming return of international travellers to help them reach levels near the pre-pandemic numbers. And once China finally eases Covid restrictions and allows their citizens to travel abroad, most in the tourism sector expect a cathartic explosion of Chinese tourists. The airline has ten planes currently grounded that they intend to relaunch once the floodgates open from China.

But they’ve also learned a lesson from this lockdown. Thai AirAsia is diversifying its flight schedule, making sure they’re not dependent on just one demographic. They opened routes to India, South Asia, and other nations around Southeast Asia as well as new flights to Japan and Taiwan. The airline plans for next year to expand further in India while adding direct flights to Pakistan and Nepal.

Thailand NewsTourism NewsTransport News

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.

Related Articles