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Turbulence ahead for Thailand’s aviation industry | VIDEO

Tanutam Thawan

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When the airlines, in particular, were asking the government to put their hands in their pockets for some relief funding in August last year, it was genuinely thought that international tourists would be coming back for the high season in December and January. At the very least local tourists and expats would head back to the skies over the traditional holiday break. And surely the Chinese would be back for Chinese New Year?

As we know now, none of that happened. A resurge in cases started just south of Bangkok on December 20 last year, just before Christmas, kicking off another round of restrictions, pretty much killing off any possibility of a high season ‘bump’ for the tourist industry. Airlines slashed flights from their schedule, and hotels, which had dusted off their reception desks for the surge of tourists, shut their doors again.

Domestically, the hotel business saw 6 million room nights in the government’s latest stimulus campaign fully redeemed. But the air ticket quota of 2 million seats still has over 1.3 million seats unused. Local tourists mostly skipped flights and opted for destinations within driving distance of their homes.

As for international tourism… well that still seems months or years away, even now.

 

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29 Comments

29 Comments

  1. Avatar

    g

    Wednesday, February 17, 2021 at 4:22 pm

    No one is going to come on holiday and spend say 2 weeks off thier month cooked up in quarantine. It’s simple drop the quarantine and you’ll get some tourists. It’s not rocket science

    • Avatar

      Gosport

      Wednesday, February 17, 2021 at 4:28 pm

      Drop the quarantine, up the death number.

      • Avatar

        June

        Wednesday, February 17, 2021 at 4:38 pm

        Not only Thai i think it is whole worlds aviation industry suffer by covid 19 🙁

        • Avatar

          xbangkok

          Thursday, February 18, 2021 at 7:29 am

          No true, in central America they even launched new airlines. It’s only happening in South East Asia. There is a recovery plan to stop fuelling money and get seamless growth by the end of the year. People are tired of the pandemic restrictions so they are moving on.

      • Avatar

        Geoff

        Wednesday, February 17, 2021 at 4:47 pm

        Be sensible, not negative. Vacc. programmes around the world will hopefully improve the situation slowly and encourage countries to remove quarantine requirements. Places like Phuket are well placed to act independently if allowed.

    • Avatar

      Galaxy

      Wednesday, February 17, 2021 at 4:39 pm

      “It’s not rocket science”
      But even without quarantine: Who would like to come to a country where more than 90% of the tourist activities are closed! Go to Samui it’s rather difficult to find 1 restaurant open….

    • Avatar

      Tim Houston

      Wednesday, February 17, 2021 at 4:53 pm

      It’s the same story over and over, they want the money but they don’t want the farangs…
      No farangs, No satang !
      Put someone with good common sense and some organisation skills and I am sure you could revive international tourism in areas like Phuket and Koh Samui with minimal impact on health safety.
      By someone, I mean not a Thai national, as I have read here and approve, they couldn’t even hold a party in a brewery.

      • Avatar

        June

        Wednesday, February 17, 2021 at 5:14 pm

        True

      • Avatar

        Issan John

        Wednesday, February 17, 2021 at 5:35 pm

        “I am sure you could revive international tourism in areas like Phuket and Koh Samui with minimal impact on health safety”

        How?

        • Avatar

          Tim Houston

          Wednesday, February 17, 2021 at 8:29 pm

          Relocate all people from groups at risks that want to be relocated, (people over 70 and people with serious diseases) outside Phuket and Koh samui and at government expenses. Lock again the islands, only essential transports from land can come in and out. People who want to go outside Phuket and Koh Samui need to go through quarantine. And for the people that remain in the island, learn to live with the virus like everyone else in the world fucking does ! You are doing more harm to people of Phuket and Koh Samui by stopping the economy than letting them exposed to this flu.

          • Avatar

            Issan John

            Wednesday, February 17, 2021 at 8:53 pm

            Seriously?

            Give maybe a third of the population the option of being “relocated” away from their homes, families and livelihoods or staying at home and catching Covid courtesy of foreign tourists who haven’t been quarantined?

            Indefinitely, with no plan for how some 200,000 people you’ve “relocated” are going to live or survive?

            Then “lock again the islands” so that although tourists coming in aren’t quarantined any Thais going out are?

            … and you think that’s showing “good common sense and some organisation skills”?

            Un-B-frigging-lievable.

  2. Avatar

    Toby Andrews

    Wednesday, February 17, 2021 at 4:40 pm

    Good, I want the airlines to do a crash landing, especially Thai Airways – they deserve it.

    • Avatar

      Fred Johnson

      Wednesday, February 17, 2021 at 6:02 pm

      ?

  3. Avatar

    Colin G

    Wednesday, February 17, 2021 at 4:45 pm

    A “resurge” ? What is that ? A resurgence, perhaps ?

  4. Avatar

    dispensed

    Wednesday, February 17, 2021 at 4:46 pm

    No daily updates from the covid situation in the US this week? I guess that’s because cases have dropped by more than 50%, in some cases 80%.

    That which you said was impossible–herd immunity–is happening. There’s your story, journo.

    • Avatar

      Issan John

      Wednesday, February 17, 2021 at 5:40 pm

      “Herd immunity is happening”

      Really?

      The death rate is still at a 7 day average of 2,821 so only marginally off the record all-time high.

      Oops 😮

    • Avatar

      Baroness

      Thursday, February 18, 2021 at 5:39 am

      No, it’s just because there are no published data about the number of cases versus the number of tests.
      One of the reasons is the Super Bowl in Tampa (and The Daytona 500 last. Weekend).
      Many states are running out of vaccines (like NY) and many people won’t get their 2nd shot when prescribed.
      Also North America is experiencing a polar vortex from the Rockies to the Atlantic coast and the Gulf of Mexico.
      So most people are staying inside stranded in 2 feet of snow..

      • Avatar

        Issan John

        Thursday, February 18, 2021 at 4:12 pm

        Baroness, I agree with you but all that “the number of cases versus the number of tests” can show you is how many OF THOSE TESTED at that time proved positive – not the general population, unless you tested all the general population.

        In Thailand, for example, in some targeted groups, in the thousands, 44% tested positive but that doesn’t bear any relation to general numbers – just as groups where 0% tested positive don’t indicate general numbers either.

        The same applies to deaths vs cases. Take the number of deaths in a group of young, fit, healthy migrant workers who’ve tested positive and you end up with 0%. Take the number in a care home and you can end up with over 50%.

        Neither has any bearing on the general population.

        Taking your example, less may have been tested due to the Super Bowl, the Daytona 500 and “most people staying inside stranded in 2 feet of snow” so there are less positives – but the number of Covid deaths is barely affected by any of that so it’s a much more accurate measure.

        Tests based solely on those who WANT to be tested rather than those who NEED to be tested can only ever give you a very narrow snapshot.

        Deaths and hospitalizations, though, aren’t a matter of choice, so they’re an accurate, big picture.

        Some here obviously prefer their narrow snapshot.

  5. Avatar

    Me

    Wednesday, February 17, 2021 at 5:42 pm

    it will be difficult, to be polite about it, to decide IF or when herd immunity ever becomes a reality simply because Thailand does not do proactive testing, only reactive testing, which means simply they DO NOT KNOW how many cases are out there and when they react they find some of the cases which are then declared, but of course there are many many more cases out here that will never be found without reactive testing so the merry go round will continue going round and round without any tourists visiting to pay for the rides.

  6. Avatar

    Jesus Monroe

    Wednesday, February 17, 2021 at 6:16 pm

    Turbulence……..the only Turdulance they’ll be experiencing is the wind coming out of the governments tailwind….

  7. Avatar

    Issan John

    Wednesday, February 17, 2021 at 6:22 pm

    “Whe the airlines, in particular, were asking the government to put their hands in their pockets for some relief funding in August last year, it was genuinely thought that international tourists would be coming back for the high season in December and January.”

    Who by?

  8. Avatar

    Issan John

    Wednesday, February 17, 2021 at 7:13 pm

    Sorry, Me, but I have to disagree.

    Thailand doesn’t waste resources doing mass testing of the wrong people, as some of the West such as the US and UK do, but it does targeted testing instead.

    Neither are “pro-active” since neither are done in sufficient numbers. As the West’s experts have said consistently and repeatedly, pro-active testing would have to be of the whole population every fortnight to be effective and nobody’s near even 5% of that – and the most likely to test positive, those living and working in crowded conditions, are also the least likely to want to be tested.

    The only country that’s really done pro-active testing is China, and then only in targeted areas.

    A far better and more accurate metric for herd immunity surely has to be a mix of Covid-related deaths, hospitalizations, and symptomatic cases – after all, you can still test positive but be immune 😮

  9. Avatar

    Sam gamgee

    Wednesday, February 17, 2021 at 9:44 pm

    Who are you isaan joe are you a troll

  10. Avatar

    Ian

    Thursday, February 18, 2021 at 1:24 am

    You’ll find ij that England has done it constantly they did all Liverpool all areas around London and manchester you are so outa touch with tbe real world i pity you that you are stuck in your hut with your laptop and cant see whats really happening so don’t knock the UK we are doing all we can ,we find problems then solve them it may not be perfect but 16 million now having vaccine i would say we are the leaders in the european world even though we are not now european 555

    • Avatar

      Issan John

      Thursday, February 18, 2021 at 3:18 pm

      Sorry, Ian, but the UK didn’t.

      That’s not an “outa touch” opinion but a fact.

      While the UK did plenty of tests, the UK never tested “all Liverpool all areas around London and manchester”.

      That’s what needed to be done if mass testing was to work, but it never happened.

      Instead “all Liverpool all areas around London and manchester” were OFFERED tests, rather like testing reaching 100,000 a day on time based on 80,000 tests being made, including repeats, and the rest being posted out.

      Far from the same thing, which has been pointed out repeatedly not just by opposition and back bench politicians but by a consensus of experts: those MOST likely to have the virus and to spread it – those living and working in crowded conditions – are the LEAST likely to want to be tested as then they (and those around them) might be obligated to take time off work, unpaid and uncompensated.

      It simply didn’t work in the UK or the US despite the rhetoric and unjustifiable claims as the US’ latest figures show. The number of positive cases identified has dropped markedly in the US, so some are claiming that as success – the number of deaths, though, over the same period on a 7 day average, is virtually unchanged from the the peak.

      It simply doesn’t work.

  11. Avatar

    Tim Houston

    Thursday, February 18, 2021 at 4:22 am

    Okay let’s do as Assclown John says, let’s ruin the economy and the lives of millions, let the people starve to death, we don’t want them to catch this flu that might kill an old relative that is already suffering from other diseases on his death bed.
    Surely it’s better for people of Phuket and Koh Samui if they slowly die from hunger and psychological distress. That’s so smart of you Assclown.

    • Avatar

      Baroness

      Thursday, February 18, 2021 at 6:33 am

      It’s what is happening around the Great Lakes area. We have local news from Detroit to Rochester, south shore as well as north shore.
      Bankruptcies, repossessions, suicides (adults as well as young people), students going through the garbage behind the supermarkets. Temperatures are below -12 C going to -26 around Lake Superior. People can’t pay their heating bills. Most solar panels are under 2 feet of snow and wind turbines are either frozen by the temperature or the lack of wind.
      Just read in the Daily Mail:
      https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-8871459/husband-father-four-young-boys-takes-life-struggling-cope-lockdown.html
      https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-8705195/father-killed-leaving-wife-bring-unborn-triplets-lost-jobs-covid-19-html
      https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-9032855/maine-boy-16-dies-suicide-struggling-covid-19-isolation.html
      A financial advisor drowned himself because he lost his business he has been building from scratch for the last 30 years. He could not feed his family any longer. it happened in the Lake district in England.

      Same story everywhere in Australia, Europe and North America. It’s an epidemic proportion. Canada is facing the biggest number of opioid overdoses during the pandemic.
      Nobody talks of the collateral damages of confinements and lockdowns. Deaths due to the virus are non significant. The long term effect of mental disorders and substances abused are the real killer.

    • Avatar

      Crispy

      Thursday, February 18, 2021 at 2:01 pm

      Not sure Isaan John recommends favouring the economy over public health, or public health over the economy.
      There is not a solution in the current configuration, other than vaccinating the population. But by the time that’s done, there’ll be no population and no economy either.

      https://www.bangkokpost.com/business/2069563/tourism-veering-from-bad-to-worse

      What is least likely to happen, but offers the best and fastest way out, is for ASEAN to organise a vaccination program. Start by building its own supply chain.

      Aim to have 80% of ASEAN immunised by summer 2022. And reopen for November 2022.

    • Avatar

      Issan John

      Thursday, February 18, 2021 at 3:34 pm

      That’s a little bit sad, Tim H.

      You claimed that “someone with good common sense and some organisation skills … could revive international tourism in areas like Phuket and Koh Samui with minimal impact on health safety” and were asked “how?”.

      You then came up with a plan that would have meant “re-locating” a third of the island’s population elsewhere indefinitely, with no means of support, and then “lock again the islands” so that although tourists coming in aren’t quarantined any Thais going out are.

      … and now you’re justifying that because “we don’t want them to catch this flu that might kill an old relative that is already suffering from other diseases on his death bed.”

      … and you think that shows “good common sense”. 😮

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