Thailand hopes to see flights double now Test & Go is gone

Thailand hopes to see flights double now Test & Go is gone

Prayut thanks airport staff for 'smooth transition'

International arrivals queue for immigration procedures at Suvarnabhumi airport on Sunday as the country dropped the Test & Go entry requirements. (Photo: Wichan Charoenkiatpakul)
International arrivals queue for immigration procedures at Suvarnabhumi airport on Sunday as the country dropped the Test & Go entry requirements. (Photo: Wichan Charoenkiatpakul)

The government is hoping to see air travel soar following the lifting of the Test & Go requirements, with double the number of take-offs and landings at the country's airports by the end of this year.

The Civil Aviation Authority of Thailand expects 83,500 flights per month at all airports by year's end, up from 44,500 at present, following the easing of Covid-19 restrictions, deputy government spokeswoman Traisuree Taisaranakul said on Monday.

Significant jumps are expected in both international and domestic flights, she added.

The Test & Go entry requirements were lifted on Sunday in a bid to woo more international tourists and help the kingdom compete with regional tourism-reliant rivals like Indonesia, Vietnam and Singapore.

Tourism operators and vacationers have complained about the continued necessity to register for the Thailand Pass before arriving in the country, urging the government to scrap it too. 

The first day after the departure of Test & Go saw about 17,000 air travellers arrive on 96 international flights at Suvarnabhumi and a further 4,000 from 27 landings at Phuket airport, according to the Transport Ministry.

Ms Traisuree said Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha was satisfied with the quick screening and document-checking process at international airports on Sunday and thanked all officials for the smooth transition.

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