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Thai Airways delays resumption of domestic flights due to local Covid-19 cases

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PHOTO: Executive Traveller

Thai Airways flights to Phuket and Chiang Mai were supposed to start back up on Christmas day, but the recent Covid-19 local transmissions have led the airline to push the relaunch date back. Now the flights from Bangkok will take off on January 1, but if the virus continues to spread, the airline might decide to delay the flights indefinitely.

At least 17 Thais tested positive for Covid-19 after illegally entering Thailand from Myanmar’s border district Tachileik. They evaded the mandatory quarantine and some travelled to Bangkok, Chiang Mai and other provinces before testing positive. There have been 2 local transmissions related to those cases.

In a recent, but unrelated spread of the virus in Bangkok, 6 nurses tested positive for Covid-19. Health officials suspect a nurse did not wear protective gear correctly, contracting the virus while working at an alternative state quarantine facility and then spreading it to her colleagues.

As long as infections don’t escalate, the flights will start back up on January 1. The flights from Bangkok to Chiang Mai as well as flights from Bangkok to Phuket will be on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays. Customers who booked flights before January 1 are entitled to a refund.

The flights will be the first since the airline suspended its international and domestic services in April due to the coronavirus pandemic. Things haven’t been easy for the Thai Airways this year. Along with being buried in a debt of nearly 300 billion baht, more than 20 people are suspected of being involved in corruption and mismanagement at the airline.

And with no planes in the air, Thai Airways tried doing business on the ground. They opened a pop-up restaurant selling airline food and started offering packages for their flight simulator, which is typically only used to train pilots.

SOURCE: Bangkok Post

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Caitlin Ashworth is a writer from the United States who has lived in Thailand since 2018. She graduated from the University of South Florida St. Petersburg with a bachelor’s degree in journalism and media studies in 2016. She was a reporter for the Daily Hampshire Gazette In Massachusetts. She also interned at the Richmond Times-Dispatch in Virginia and Sarasota Herald-Tribune in Florida.

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