Domestic flights resume with extra safety protocols
Four airlines resumed domestic flights on Friday with unprecedented public hygiene measures to reduce the possibility of Covid-19 transmission.
Nok Air, AirAsia, Thai Lion Air and Thai Vietjet Air were allowed to reinstate flights between 14 provinces after a month-long suspension now that the number of Covid-19 infections was falling.
The 14 provincial airports are in Lampang, Tak's Mae Sot, Phitsanulok, Buri Ram, Sakon Nakhon, Nakhon Phanom, Roi Et, Khon Kaen, Ubon Ratchathani, Udon Thani, Trang, Nakhon Si Thammarat, Surat Thani and Krabi, in addition to Don Mueang airport and Suvarnabhumi airport in Bangkok.
The airlines are required to comply with additional health and safety measures prescribed by the Civil Aviation Authority of Thailand (CAAT).
Perspex barriers have been installed to block contact between passengers and airport officials, according to Tawee Gasisam-ang, director-general of Department of Airports.
The department has also stipulated that disinfection chemicals must be applied to all contact points and surfaces as well as passengers' luggage. Airport staff are required to wear face shields, masks and gloves, and all passengers will be required to pass through a thermal scanning area.
In order to maintain social distancing, the CAAT has reduced the number of passengers allowed on shuttle buses to 20 per trip instead of the usual 60.
Sumpun Kutranon, manager of Don Mueang airport, said flights from the airport yesterday had fewer passengers, partly because of limited operating hours due to the current curfew.