Thai airlines back in the skies

BANGKOK, 23 April 2020: Thailand’s low-cost airlines are preparing to resume flights in May and June with strict inflight conditions to reduce the risk of Covid-19 infection.

Bangkok Airways, Nok Air, Thai AirAsia and Thai Lion are all due to resume domestic flights. Only Thai Lion has so far not released details of the destinations it will serve from its Bangkok base at Don Mueang Airport. A check of the website indicates bookings for flights in May have not opened. Nok Air is the exception as it kept some services operating on domestic routes in April when other airlines shut down.

Bangkok Airways says it will resume services effective 1 May, but reservations are only possible on and after 1 June. Based on GDS information, the airline will operate 224 weekly flights, down from 863 weekly flights prior to the national lockdown.

The airline’s provisional plans posted on booking sites indicate flights in June will use the 70-seat ATR72 rather than the 180-seat Airbus 320s.

Advance information suggests the following destinations will be served from Bangkok.

Bangkok – Chiang Mai 14 weekly
Bangkok –  Samui 56 weekly
Bangkok – Lampang 7 weekly
Bangkok – Phuket 14 weekly
Bangkok – Sukhothai 7 weekly
Bangkok – Trat 7 weekly
Phuket –  Samui 7 weekly

The airline’s international services will resume in late October.

Nok Air in the last few weeks gradually reduced operation but based on OAG schedules listing and various airlines announcements, Nok Air continued offering domestic flights during April.

According to its planned flights posted in the GDS for May the airline will offer 384 weekly flights.
Bangkok Don Mueang – Buriram 14 weekly using a Dash8-Q400
Bangkok Don Mueang – Chiang Mai 21 weekly (737-800)
Bangkok Don Mueang – Chiang Rai 7 weekly (737-800)
Bangkok Don Mueang – Hat Yai 21 weekly (737-800)
Bangkok Don Mueang – Khon Kaen 7 weekly (Dash8-Q400)
Bangkok Don Mueang – Lampang 7 weekly (Dash8-Q400)
Bangkok Don Mueang – Mae Sot 14 weekly( Dash8-Q400)
Bangkok Don Mueang – Nakhon Si Thammarat 21 weekly (737-800)
Bangkok Don Mueang – Phitsanulok 7 weekly (Dash8-Q400)
Bangkok Don Mueang – Phuket 24 weekly (737-800)
Bangkok Don Mueang – Sakon Nakhon 7 weekly (Dash8-Q400)
Bangkok Don Mueang – Surat Thani 7 weekly (737-800)
Bangkok Don Mueang – Trang 7 weekly (737-800)
Bangkok Don Mueang – Ubon Ratchathani 14 weekly (737-800)
Bangkok Don Mueang – Udon Thani 14 weekly (737-800)

Thai AirAsia intends to resume flights on selected domestic routes in May. Effective the week beginning Sunday 3 May, the airline should have 214 weekly flights operating down from 2,560 weekly flights listed as of 15 March (OAG schedules).

Bangkok Don Mueang – Chiang Mai 14 weekly (94 weekly 15 March)Bangkok Don Mueang – Chiang Rai 7 weekly (28)
Bangkok Don Mueang – Hat Yai 14 weekly (63)
Bangkok Don Mueang – Khon Kaen 7 weekly (46)
Bangkok Don Mueang – Nakhon Phanom 7 weekly (21)
Bangkok Don Mueang – Nakhon Si Thammarat 7 weekly (28)
Bangkok Don Mueang – Narathiwat 4 weekly (7)
Bangkok Don Mueang – Phitsanulok 4 weekly (14)
Bangkok Don Mueang – Phuket 4 weekly (91)
Bangkok Don Mueang – Roi Et 7 weekly (28)
Bangkok Don Mueang – Surat Thani 7 weekly (42)
Bangkok Don Mueang – Trang 7 weekly (21)
Bangkok Don Mueang – Ubon Ratchathani 7 weekly (21)
Bangkok Don Mueang – Udon Thani 7 weekly (35)
Chiang Mai – Hat Yai 4 weekly (7)

All the schedules depend on government approval and compliance with the Civil Aviation Authority of Thailand’s measures that meet public health requirements.

Airlines will have to meet social distancing rules which means they will need to leave empty seats in each row of the cabin. All passengers must wear a face mask throughout the journey. No drinks or food will be served.

Fares will increase due to having fewer seats available, but that might be offset to some degree by lower fuel costs that are presently the lowest recorded since the 1950s.

(Timetable information: Airlineroute and OAG)

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