Aerothai predicts 38% drop in local air travel

Aerothai predicts 38% drop in local air travel

Empty seats are seen at Suvarnabhumi airport. (Photo by Wichan Charoenkiatpakul)
Empty seats are seen at Suvarnabhumi airport. (Photo by Wichan Charoenkiatpakul)

Thailand's third outbreak of Covid-19 is predicted to send domestic air travel tumbling by 38% this fiscal year, according to the Aeronautical Radio of Thailand Ltd (Aerothai).

Third wave infections, which began early last month, are spreading quickly across the kingdom and are expected to reduce the volume of domestic air travel by September.

Aerothai initially predicted there would be 518,790 domestic flights this fiscal year, which began in October.

However, the figure was revised to 323,093 flights, a 38% drop when compared with the agency's initial prediction, it said.

Tinnagorn Choowong, Aerothai's executive vice president for operations, said the number of domestic flights had been stable in the first half of last month but it dropped dramatically in the latter half.

The plunge was attributed to the stiff measures launched to contain the spread of the virus as the number of daily new cases kept rising, he said.

Aerothai said domestic air travel was badly affected by the second wave of Covid-19 early in the year. During the current wave, the industry is expected to be at its lowest point at the end of this month.

Recovery in the aviation industry is expected to begin next month after the Civil Aviation Authority of Thailand relaxed restrictions for international flights. The move coincides with the government's plan to reopen the country's tourism industry starting in July.

Healthy traffic numbers are expected to return in August when domestic flights are expected to rise to 1,095 per day, on par with the pre-second outbreak level of December last year.

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