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Air travel estimates slashed by 38 per cent due to 3rd Covid-19 wave

Aeronautical Radio of Thailand (Aerothai) has adjusted down its estimates of total domestic and international air travel in 2021 to 323,093 flights, a 38 per cent drop from its 518,790 flights estimate at the start of the year.

The steep downward revision follows the fallout from the third Covid-19 wave since late March.

“The rising number of infections in Thailand and overseas has caused domestic and international travel to decline, while the government’s measures urging people to refrain from inter-provincial travel would further decrease domestic flights,” said Aerothai vice-president Thinnakorn Chuwong.

“However, we estimate that the impact of this wave will last until May and recovery would start slowly from June onwards, coinciding with the period when the Civil Aviation Authority of Thailand would ease restrictions on air travel,” he added.

“Also the government’s Phuket Sandbox campaign would start in July, which could help boost air travel during July to August to around 1,095 flights per day, which would be at the same level as December last year, right before the start of the second wave.”

Under the sandbox scheme, tourists who can verify they have been inoculated against Covid-19 and test negative can fly into Phuket and move around freely without having to quarantine. Similar schemes will be applied to other destinations like Pattaya, Chiang Mai, Krabi, Phang Nga and Surat Thani later when more people have been vaccinated and more preventive measures have been put in place.

“However, if the sandbox campaign is not launched as scheduled, or should there be another wave, Aerothai might have to further lower estimates on total flights throughout the year,” added Thinnakorn.

Published : May 08, 2021