Thai aviation flying high as demand for flight slots, led by Chinese airlines, soars
Thailand's aviation sector is buzzing with activity in February as airlines have requested 6,318 flight slots at Thai airports, the Civil Aviation Authority of Thailand (CAAT) said on Monday.
"The total number of flights in February this year now is 25,256," CAAT director-general Suttipong Kongpool said.
He added that the number of flights in some weeks had increased to the level as before the Covid-19 pandemic in 2020, thanks to the government's move to lift travel restrictions in July last year.
Suttipong added that 19 Chinese airlines have requested permission to operate flights to Thailand after China ended its travel restrictions on January 8 this year.
China’s Kunming Airlines has requested to operate flights at many Thai airports, while 9 Air and Xiamen Airlines have sought permission to operate both scheduled and non-scheduled flights, he said.
He added that Chengdu Airlines had requested to operate only non-scheduled flights.
"Air China will operate flights on the Beijing-Chiang Mai route every Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday from February 14 to March 25," he said.
"Meanwhile, China Southern Airlines will operate flights every Monday, Wednesday, Friday and Sunday from March 1 to 24."
He said Hainan Airlines had requested permission to operate flights on the Beijing-Suvarnabhumi Airport route every day from February 15 to March 25.
"The airline also has requested to operate flights on the Beijing-Phuket route every Wednesday and Friday, and the Guangzhou-Phuket route every Wednesday, Friday and Sunday from February 24 to March 24," he said.
Suttipong said the CAAT had allocated 1,910 flight slots to Chinese airlines, including 269 in January, 671 in February and 970 in March.
As many as 500 flight slots at Suvarnabhumi Airport have been allocated to Chinese airlines, followed by Don Mueang (684), Phuket (476), Chiang Mai (197), Samui (27) and U-Tapao (26), he added.