Covid-ravaged airlines receive airport fees boost

Covid-ravaged airlines receive airport fees boost

Officials sit at Suvarnabhumi airport. (Bangkok Post file photo)
Officials sit at Suvarnabhumi airport. (Bangkok Post file photo)

Airlines were on Thursday given airport fee waivers until March 31 next year as part of a raft of measures to rehabilitate the aviation industry devastated by Covid-19.

The Civil Aviation Board agreed to help the airlines in various ways, including reducing and exempting them from fees due to the Airports of Thailand (AoT).

Airlines will also be due refunds for airport fees they paid before the new measures came into force and have been awarded buts in aviation service fees due to the Aeronautical Radio of Thailand and given 180 days to pay their bills, instead of 90.

Transport Minister Saksayam Chidchob, who presided over the meeting, said he had instructed the Civil Aviation Authority of Thailand (CAAT) to implement the measures carefully but quickly and suggested it work closely with the Centre for Covid-19 Situation Administration.

He also instructed the CAAT to reevaluate civil aviation safety while promoting air transportation in preparation for the country's reopening and economic recovery after the pandemic.

The CAAT was also instructed to monitor the progress of the construction of Betong Airport in Yala and make sure that airlines and relevant parties were all ready for its opening.

Last month, eight domestic airlines rated as being in critical financial health were boosted by the CAAT, which said it did not believe they were going bankrupt and it still had faith they could stay afloat.

It was after that announcement that the airlines met the CAAT, which agreed to consider their request to relax some rules to help them cope better with the pandemic.

The eight airlines included Thai Smile, Nok Air, AirAsia X and VietJet.

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