Thailand News Today | Thai Airways gets its act together


Whilst postponed for a few months, the proposed 300 baht “tourism fee” is back in the news with the Tourism and Sports Ministry providing more details about how it will be collected and what it will be used for.

Originally planned for implementation at the start of this year, the proposal was shelved because of the onset of the Omicron variants of Covid and a lack of details about how the fee was going to be collected.

Now, the new, compulsory, arrival fee will apply to all foreigners, “without exception” and will provide insurance coverage with a value of 500,000 baht for each person, up to 30 days, during their stay in Thailand. For air passengers, it will be included in their airfare.

Although the Ministry says they are now ready to launch, they are waiting until all land and sea border entries are equipped and ready to collect the payments. The new 300 arrival fee will apply to all foreigners entering via air, land, or sea into Thailand.

This time there are no plans for exemptions – ALL foreigners, including expats, work permit or long-term visa holders, and diplomats will be required to pay the 300 fees. The ministerial spokesperson said that, as they were going to collect the fee for air travellers via their airfare, there was no way the systems could easily differentiate between one type of visa or another. So, unless you’re an actual Thai citizen, you will be paying the new entry fee of 300 baht each time you enter the Kingdom.

The insurance coverage will be up to a value of 500,000 baht, covering accidents, riots, terrorism, natural disaster, or “other incidents”. There would be a 1 million baht payout in the event of death and cremation or funeral expenses up to 150,000 baht.

However, general health, hospital, or Covid expenses will not be covered, so passengers will still need to get general travel or health insurance to cover those eventualities.

It is expected that the Cabinet will confirm the plan in the next month and will then go into effect 90 days later when it is published in the Royal Gazette.


Thai Airways’ July progress report reveals a promising outlook for Thailand’s flag carrier, which expects to exit its financial rehabilitation plan earlier than expected.

The airline’s revenue has shot up due to increased passenger traffic, but cutting costs, selling stock, and chasing debts have been Thai Airways’ secrets to getting back on track.

After improving its performance, Thai Airways submitted a petition to the Central Bankruptcy Court on July 1st seeking to revive the airline’s current rehabilitation plan.

According to the report, the airline has 14 billion baht in net cash reserves as of June 30th. As a result, Thai Airways may need funding of 12.5 billion baht, instead of 50 billion baht as permitted under the restructuring programme.

Thai’s revenue from passenger traffic has increased significantly, with the average number of passengers using the airline hitting 12,654 per day in recent months. Compared with January this year, passenger traffic has increased sixfold.

But cutting costs in every department is how Thai Airways has built up its cash reserves. Thai has reduced its costs by an enormous 73%, from 29.4 billion to 7.9. billion baht per year.

The airline has cut operating costs by 8.5 billion baht by reducing the types of aircraft in its fleet from 9 to 4. The airline has sold 15 aircraft, with 18 more in the process of being sold. In total, the overall fleet has been reduced to 43 aircraft. Maintenance costs have also been reduced by 4.5 billion baht per year.

Thai Airways has also been chasing up the Royal Thai Air Force and Royal Thai Police to repay overdue debts to drive cash reserves upwards.
The entrepreneurial airline has even made 9.5 billion baht from the sale of non-core business opportunities, such as auctioning off merch and aeroplane seats via its Facebook page, TG Warehouse Sale. The airline also leased out space in its head office to make money.

Now that Thailand’s travel restrictions have almost completely gone, the airline only expects things to get better from here. Thai’s executive vice president predicts that this year’s high season will see the highest number of passengers in the last 2 years.

Thai Airways also plans to bring back older jets into use. The reactivated planes will be used on high-demand routes to South Korea, Singapore, and Japan.


After a Move Forward Party Bangkok city councilor, Arnuparb Tarntong was accused of sexual misconduct, a number of civil groups have ramped up their demands for political parties to strengthen the candidate screening process.

Arnuparb, a councilor for the Sathorn district, came forward to the police to reject the allegations of sexual harassment made by four young girls.
He tweeted yesterday that he is ready to fight the case and prove his innocence. He thanked his followers for their moral support.

Arnuparb is the second politician this year to be accused of sexual harassment after Prinn Panitchpakdi, a former Democrat deputy leader. Some 20 have come forward and accused the politician of sexual abuse and rape back in April.

After his tweet, people quickly compared the two politicians and demanded Arnuparb step down from his role, similar to Prinn, who stepped down as the deputy leader of the Democrats.

According to the civil rights groups, political parties should investigate members’ backgrounds to check if they have a record of inappropriate behaviour, such as sexual assault or harassment, or disrespecting gender rights.


The intense rain that has been causing chaos throughout Thailand is expected to mellow out from today (Friday), until Wednesday, July 20.

According to the Thai Meteorological Department, the monsoon should be weaker from Friday to Sunday. The department’s director-general said the trough would move northwards to Myanmar, upper Laos, and upper Vietnam.

The department noted that there will still be heavy rain, but only in some areas. These include parts of eastern Thailand and the west coast of South Thailand. While waves in the Gulf and the Andaman Sea have been 2-3 metres high, they are expected to drop to 1-2 metres high from Monday to Wednesday.

The calmer rain will be a relief for many, following the damage that Thailand’s monsoon season has caused in many parts of the Kingdom. Earlier this week, a mother and daughter in northeast Thailand almost drowned in a flood.

The mother accidentally drove her car into a flooded underground car park at Khon Kaen Airport. Luckily, the airport sent a rescue team to bring the two to safety.

Another northeast province, Buriram, saw its “worst floods in 10 years” earlier this week. Heavy rain caused flash flooding in the Ban Dan district while most people were sleeping. Around 30 houses and restaurants, as well as village roads and agricultural land, were damaged by the floods.


Rare footage of a family of wild tigers feeding on prey in Isaan’s Dong Phayayen – Khao Yai Forest Complex has been captured by Thailand’s Department of National Parks, Wildlife, and Plant Conservation. With only 250 wild tigers estimated to be left in Thailand, the chances of capturing footage of tigers are next to none.

The short clip shows a family of 2 tiger cubs, their parents, and 2 more tigers playing together in the forest. Later in the clip, the tigers are pictured feasting on a large animal carcass.

In 2005, the 6,155 square kilometre forest complex was named a UNESCO World Heritage Site, covering 5 protected areas in the Dong Phaya Yen Mountains and Sankamphaeng Range, namely Khao Yai, Tublan, Pang Sida, and Ta Phraya National Parks and Dong Yai Wildlife Sanctuary.

The complex is home to more than 800 species of animals, including 112 species of mammals, 392 species of birds, and 200 species of reptiles. Of these, 19 are vulnerable, 4 are endangered and 1 is critically endangered.

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