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Civil Aviation Authority to consider airlines’ requests to ease some Covid measures

Maya Taylor



PHOTO: Anna Zvereva on Flickr

The Civil Aviation Authority of Thailand has singled out 8 Thai airlines it still has faith in and believes will stay afloat. The CAAT says that without the Covid-19 crisis, none of the carriers risked going bankrupt and the tough financial situation they find themselves in is solely due to the pandemic.

The Bangkok Post reports that the 8 airlines, which are all registered in the Kingdom, are Thai Airways, Thai Smile, Nok Air, AirAsia X, VietJet Air, Thai Lion Air, Asia Atlantic Airlines and City Airways. The CAAT has met with the airlines, who have requested the easing of 4 regulations in order to help them survive the financial crisis. Suttipong Kongpool from the CAAT says the authority has agreed to consider the requests.

One of the rules the airlines want dropped is the stipulation that shuttle buses taking passengers to and from aircraft can only have a maximum of 70% occupancy. The airlines say the rule is impossible to adhere to, given that there are not enough buses available. They also want an extension to the short-term permission that allows them to modify passenger planes to accommodate cargo. That permission is set to expire at the end of this month, but the airlines are calling for an extension of 3 months.

Carriers are also currently required to give 4 weeks’ notice if they need to cancel a scheduled flight. They are asking to have the notification period reduced to 2 weeks, pointing out that passengers are waiting until nearly the last minute to book flights.

Suttipong says the airlines have also asked that international arrivals be allowed to connect freely to domestic flights. However, he says that request would have to be approved by the Centre for Covid-19 Situation Administration.

SOURCE: Bangkok Post


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  1. Avatar

    Issan John

    Thursday, March 18, 2021 at 12:27 pm

    How can there not be enough shuttle buses to reduce occupancy to “70%” when there are far less than 70% of the number of flights???

  2. Avatar

    toby andrews

    Thursday, March 18, 2021 at 3:44 pm

    I have never been on a shuttle bus that has 70 percent occupancy. They have always been jammed full.
    And run the aircraft to nearer the terminal and the passengers can walk.
    As for not enough shuttles buses, contract Thai baht buses and private mini buses to meet the aircraft.
    They will welcome the income at the present time.
    As for passenger booking at the last minute, this is very wise.
    The passengers want to make sure the airline is still in business, and there IS a flight.
    The Thais have brought this on themselves.

  3. Avatar


    Thursday, March 18, 2021 at 5:23 pm

    It would also be helpful if international flights to Thailand no longer requires a Fit-To-Fly Certificate from a doctor in addition to a Covid-19 Free Test Certificate less than 72h old on boarding.

    In addition to 1 or 2 visits to the Covid-19 Test Center less than 72h before boarding, travellers need to separately make a doctors appointment and the cost of a certificate can easily come to 4000 THB too, and that does not include the Covid-19 Tests.

    The Fit-to-Fly certificate seems to increase measures to test for everything else but Covid-19, which wasn’t needed before for normally healthy travellers, so why would that be added on top of the Covid-19 restrictions ?

  4. Avatar


    Thursday, March 18, 2021 at 5:24 pm

    And why do you need shuttle buses if there is nearly no international traffic an less domestic? Aren’t there enough ramps to go from the gate straight in the plane and vice versa?

  5. Avatar

    David Mann

    Thursday, March 18, 2021 at 9:22 pm

    Not only are there enough ramps available now, there are plenty even back in 2019. I arrive at Suvarnabhumi and the aircraft passes empty gate after gate after gate in the International arrivals and domestic arrivals sections of the airport. Suvarnabhumi is expanding with a new Thai dedicated terminal and claims to be at or near capacity and in need of additional runway capacity. When I fly in to JFK, O’Hare or Heathrow the place is rammed and you can see 5 or more aircraft on approach and many more in the hold. On arrival in to BKK or DMK you fly straight in and pass empty gates. Once again another strange and illogical set of numbers compared to real world observations

  6. Avatar

    Mr cynic

    Friday, March 19, 2021 at 2:57 am

    It costs more in airport ground handling charges to use the docking gates/air bridges that connect the aircraft directly to the terminal.that is probably the reason that they are not using them especially the low cost operators.given the present traffic levels this is madnnes on the part of the airports and airlines however T.I.T!

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