Carriers halt international flights
Covid-19 pandemic sees TAA and Bangkok Airways ground planes
Thai AirAsia (TAA) and Bangkok Airways have temporarily cancelled all international flights from today but will continue to operate domestic routes, the airlines announced separately yesterday.
TAA and Bangkok Airways are the second and third carriers in Thailand to introduce mass flight cancellations prompted by the Covid-19 pandemic.
TAA said it hopes to resume international flights on April 25 while Bangkok Airways announced its suspension takes effect "until further notice".
Thai Lion Air (TLA) was the first to suspend operations after it grounded all of its 17 aircraft on Wednesday.
The airline expects to resume services on May 1, it said on Friday.
Yesterday, TAA said customers who booked flights up to and including Friday can change their flights within 180 days without a fee, subject to seat availability.
Alternatively, they can keep the money they used for paying the air tickets in the Air Asia BIG programme to buy tickets in the future.
Customers can also opt for a full refund, the announcement said.
Meanwhile, Suvarnabhumi Airport, the country's main aviation gateway, reported a 42% slump in passengers on Friday.
According to Airports of Thailand (AoT), 44,697 passengers passed through the airport from 12 am to 11.59pm on Friday, down 42.2% from the same day last year.
The figure included both inbound and outbound passengers who travelled on 621 flights, 397 of which were international flights carrying 25,261 passengers. Of them, 8,789 were arrivals.
The airport has also opened a holding room for arriving international passengers who show a fever as they pass through the thermal scanning area. The room located between Gates D3 and D4 is reserved for passengers with a body temperature higher than 37.5ºC.
There they are subject to further health checks and, where necessary, must follow the medical procedures required by the Public Health Ministry.
The room, which was launched at 8.30am yesterday, is divided into sections, one for foreign passengers and the other for Thai nationals.
The airport has also designated areas near Gate D8 and Bus Gate D5 to help inbound international passengers download a mobile app for tracking travellers from high-risk countries and are required to self-quarantine for 14 days upon arrival.
The tracker is to ensure they self-quarantine as ordered.