Minister orders CAAT to cut Bangkok-Phuket flight prices for Songkran

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Transport Minister Suriya Juangroongruangkit ordered the Civil Aviation Authority of Thailand (CAAT) to negotiate with airlines to explore ways to lower airfares following complaints from passengers about the high cost of flights from Bangkok to Phuket. He expressed confidence that reduced prices could be in effect in time for the Songkran travel period.

Today, at 9.30am, Suriya Juangroongruangkit addressed the issue ahead of a Cabinet meeting at the Government House. Passengers had taken to social media to voice their discontent with the return airfares to Phuket, which had climbed as high as 10,000 baht (US$276). The Transport Minister indicated that the CAAT, which oversees the regulation of airfares, had been instructed to act promptly, reported KhaoSod.

Upon review, it was found that while low-cost carriers averaged no more than 5,000 baht (US$138) per flight, the return trip costing 10,000 baht was significantly higher. Currently, the airfare calculation includes a formula which factors in fuel costs. With the reduction in fuel prices from a previous high of 100 dollars per barrel, the CAAT is set to reassess this formula to potentially lower fares. This reassessment comes with the expectation that the reduced fuel costs should be reflected in the pricing.

The CAAT’s Director has been tasked with reviewing and adjusting the formula to decrease prices, as the existing one accounts for fuel prices which have since decreased. Following discussions with various airline representatives, a new, lower fare structure is anticipated, though the exact reductions will be determined after these consultations.

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When asked if these measures would be implemented in time for the Songkran festival travel rush, Suriya confidently affirmed that they would indeed be in place.

In related news, the surge in Phuket flight prices sparked outrage among tourists. Despite advance bookings, travellers paid exorbitant fees, impacting domestic tourists and business travellers. High demand, particularly from foreign visitors, led to escalating prices during the peak season. Concerns arise over potential repercussions on Phuket’s tourism sector.

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Nattapong Westwood

Nattapong Westwood is a Bangkok-born writer who is half Thai and half Aussie. He studied in an international school in Bangkok and then pursued journalism studies in Melbourne. Nattapong began his career as a freelance writer before joining Thaiger. His passion for news writing fuels his dedication to the craft, as he consistently strives to deliver engaging content to his audience.

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