AirAsia schedules flight resumptions

BANGKOK, 25 February 2021 –  AirAsia will reinstate all routes from its Bangkok hub to points in Thailand during March, followed by the resumption of all direct flights between provincial cities by April.

The airline said the resumption of flights on a scale approaching pro-Covid-19 pandemic times should be operational in time for the annual Songkran festival holiday mid-April.

Spurred by the recent easing of health restrictions in the provinces that has fueled a revival in advance bookings, Thai AirAsia is cooperating with tour companies and the Tourism Authority of Thailand to introduce holiday promotions while maintaining strict health measures.

AirAsia Thailand chief executive officer Santisuk Klongchaiya said: “We are very pleased with the close cooperation shown by all parties and the improving situation in major tourist cities such as Chiang Mai, Nan, Nakhon Panom, Udon Thani, Krabi and Phuket, that have lifted their 14-day quarantine requirements. The positive sign, coupled with growing confidence in travel among the public, has prompted Thai AirAsia to begin reintroducing flights.”

He noted that the second wave of Covid-19 infections in Thailand since December 2020 forced the airline to cut back flights and suspend routes late last year. The airline chief claimed the improving situation and the roll-out of vaccines gave him the confidence to activate full-scale service soon.

However, the first batch of vaccine jabs arrived on Wednesday from China, and it is highly unlikely that the roll-out of the vaccination schedule could significantly stem infections this side of May. Strict control measures will remain in place for months to come, with the best-case scenario for the return of international tourism pushed back until the fourth quarter. There is media noise on an earlier return in June or July from regional source markets in Asia, but it currently just that; media chatter.