Financially stricken airlines face curb on new routes

Financially stricken airlines face curb on new routes

The Civil Aviation Authority of Thailand (CAAT) may stop allocating additional routes to eight airlines including Thai Airways International Plc (THAI) if they cannot provide convincing business rehabilitation plans, according to an official source.

As a result, these airlines might have to begin limiting sales in advance to protect the rights of passengers, said the official at the Ministry of Transport.

THAI is among eight airlines classified by the Civil Aviation Commission (CAC) as being in critical condition, according to an official 2019 annual industry financial report, which was discussed by the CAC at its meeting on Thursday (March 11). The report covered only commercial airlines registered in Thailand.

Other seven carriers are: Thai Smile Airways, Nok Air, AirAsia X, VietJet Air, Thai Lion Air, Asia Atlantic Airlines and City Airways.

Transport Minister Saksayam Chidchob said that as well as these eight airlines, there are three other domestic carriers that are being placed under special monitoring.

The CAC has also instructed the CAAT to work together with the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) on the provision of Covid-19 vaccines to civil aviation personnel who directly handle tourists and air passengers in preparation for resuming international flights, said Mr Saksayam.

In another development, the Department of Airports (DoA) has agreed to reduce landing fees at the soon-to-be-opened Betong Airport for three years, to encourage airlines to fly there.

DoA director-general Apirat Chaiwongnoi said the discount would be in the region of 80% in the first year, 65% in the second, and 50% in the third year.

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