THAI spreads its wings: More flights to China as visa policy takes off

Photo via Wikimedia.

After a discussion with the Thai Prime Minister and Finance Minister, Srettha Thavisin, Thai Airways (THAI) is planning to increase its flights to China from 25 flights to 35 flights a week in response to the free visa policy for Chinese tourists.

Srettha announced after the meeting with the Association of Domestic Travel (ADT) that the government planned to extend temporary visa exemptions to Chinese tourists during Thailand’s high tourist season. The policy is expected to start from October 1 onwards, marking a first for Thailand in waiving visa requirements for Chinese visitors.

The 61 year old Thai PM then discussed the policy with the Chief Executive Officer of the THAI, Chai Sri-iam, yesterday, September 11. Chai stated that the airline is pleased to cooperate with the government and would increase its flights to handle the increasing number of Chinese travellers.

Chai reported that the airline had a plan to increase flights to China from 25 flights per week to 35 flights scheduled to officially be in effect on December 1 of this year. The expanded flight schedule encompasses the following details:

  • Bangkok Beijing: Elevating from six to seven flights per week, starting December 1.
  • Bangkok-Kunming: Elevating from three to seven flights per week, starting December 1.
  • Bangkok-Chengdu: Elevating from two to seven flights per week, starting December 1.
  • Bangkok-Shanghai: Maintaining 7 flights per week from October 29, 2023 to March 30, 2024.
  • Bangkok-Guangzhou: Maintaining 7 flights per week from October 29, 2023 to March 30, 2024.

According to the increasing number of flights to China, the airline also announced earlier that it planned to reintroduce nine domestic flights after its subsidiary, Thai Smile Airways, is going to be closed down and merged with THAI.

The nine additional routes will connect Bangkok to nine provinces, including Krabi, Khon Kaen, Phuket, Narathiwas, Chaing Mai, Chaing Rai, Haad Yai, Udon Thani, and Ubon Ratchathani.

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Petch Petpailin

Petpailin, or Petch, is a Thai translator and writer for The Thaiger who focuses on translating breakingThai news stories into English. With a background in field journalism, Petch brings several years of experience to the English News desk at The Thaiger. Before joining The Thaiger, Petch worked as a content writer for several known blogging sites in Bangkok, including Happio and The Smart Local. Her articles have been syndicated by many big publishers in Thailand and internationally, including the Daily Mail, The Sun and the Bangkok Post. She is a news writer who stops reading news on the weekends to spend more time cafe hopping and petting dwarf shrimp! But during office hours, you can find Petch on LinkedIn and you can reach her by email at

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