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Thai airlines facing another setback



With more trouble on the horizon for Thailand’s airlines, they’re now pressuring the Government to step up the vaccination push. Adding to their recent woes, guidelines were released by the Civil Aviation Authority of Thailand, where all domestic flights scheduled between 11 pm and 4 am are now suspended, in-flight services have been cancelled for now and, well, passenger bookings have tanked since the end of the Songkran holiday.

Given the volume of domestic travel right now, this is likely to only impact about 5-8% of flights, according to Woranate Laprabang, chief executive of Thai Vietjet. However, given the current situation, this small percentage drop will see a substantial chunk of already limited airline revenue lost.

“We still hope that the government would understand how much airlines were impacted from the outbreak and offer support through soft loans for airlines.”

It’s not only the aviation sector putting pressure for the Thai government to get their vaccine act together, quickly. The current wave of new infections is forcing many sectors to hunker down for the next month after new restrictions on opening times and travel have been introduced. Even Phuket’s ‘sandbox’ quarantine-free re-opening in July is now looking like an impossibly complex target.

The government’s roll out of vaccines is being hobbled by a low supply, lobbying from sectors in the government, provincial pressures and a small list of suppliers.

Thailand’s competitive domestic airline market has been through a lot of turbulence over the past 12 months with the national carrier remaining virtually grounded and still wading through a lengthy bankruptcy hearing after the Thai government cut them adrift last September.

It is believed that if the Thai Government is able to get the so-called third-wave under control within a month, the airline industry should get through it relatively unscathed. However, if the outbreak continues to attract more travel restrictions we’re likely to see more layoffs from the airlines.

With demand for domestic flights dropping to record lows during the Songkran holiday season, the aviation industry is now relying heavily on the vaccination roll-out – seeing it as the light at the end of the tunnel.

SOURCE: Bangkok Post


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  1. David Pilkington

    Tuesday, April 20, 2021 at 9:57 am

    Thai airlines pressuring the govt to ‘to step up the vaccination push’. ‘Vaccination push’ – the very notion would be comical if it wasn’t so serious. Vaccines cost money and, just like the airlines, this Thai government is seemingly very short of that resource.

  2. TS

    Tuesday, April 20, 2021 at 4:36 pm

    no worries airlines-the excellent sinovac is on the way. should be here by year’s end or possibly 1st quarter 2022. it doesn’t work, but then nothing else does in LOS either. It’ll cost you though, as will testing. good job mr. jet black comb over p.m., keep up the good work, treat yourself to a well deserved new watch!

  3. Mr cynic

    Tuesday, April 20, 2021 at 4:51 pm

    The thai government have not cut tg adrift.they still own 49 percent of the shares in the company and there is a complete lack of transparency if you try to find out who allegedly bought the other 2 percent off them.i can not believe any financial institution of any kind would have taken on the liability of ownership of 2 percent of this company even if given too them for free.the manovoure is yet another embarrassment to thailand and would not fool a five year old in relation to who owns this outfit.

  4. jim slade

    Tuesday, April 20, 2021 at 7:46 pm

    Vaccination push. What a joke. The gov’t officials have spent so much time at the trough jostling for the biggest kickbacks they could garner that they have totally forgotten about the unwashed and the ecomic trai wreck caused by the pm, even before covid.

    They are at the bottom of the list of global countries with a paltry number of actaul injections.

    They’d fuck up a train wreck.

  5. Greg g

    Wednesday, April 21, 2021 at 7:07 am

    This is a joke surely: It is believed that if the Thai Government is able to get the so-called third-wave under control within a month, the airline industry should get through it relatively unscathed”
    No one in their right mind would believe that. Practically zero international flights for over a year and domestic travel almost at a standstill. I hardly think this puts any airline in an unscathed position.

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