Airlines to get new relief measures

Airlines to get new relief measures

Parking fees waived, airport fees slashed

Thai Airways airplanes are seen parked on the tarmac at Suvarnabhumi airport. The Civil Aviation Authority of Thailand has laid out further measures to help airlines cope with the Covid-19 pandemic. Wichan Charoenkiatpakul
Thai Airways airplanes are seen parked on the tarmac at Suvarnabhumi airport. The Civil Aviation Authority of Thailand has laid out further measures to help airlines cope with the Covid-19 pandemic. Wichan Charoenkiatpakul

Aircraft parking charges will be waived and a discount on landing and takeoff fees offered to all domestic and international airlines in the latest relief package approved for aviation operators, according to the Civil Aviation Authority of Thailand (CAAT).

The package was given the green light at a Civil Aviation Committee (CAC) meeting chaired by Transport Minister Saksayam Chidchob on Tuesday.

The move improves on relief measures provided at the onset of the Covid-19 pandemic to help airlines save on expenses, that had included a 50% discount on parking fees.

Parking fees are now free until the situation returns to normal, CAAT director-general Chula Sukmanop said on Tuesday.

The CAC also agreed that the 50% takeoff and landing fee discount, previously extended to 11 countries in the region, will cover aircraft from all countries operating flights into and out of Thailand.

"The CAC meeting decided that the relief should be enjoyed equally by all airlines with flights into and out of Thailand," he said.

Mr Chula added the deadline for airlines to pay passenger handling fees to the CAAT, charged at 15 baht per passenger, will be extended from within 15 days to 90 days without a late payment surcharge.

The CAC meeting also approved a Department of Airport (DOA) request for financial aid following a loss of revenue brought on by the pandemic. The lockdown had forced the closure of airports and related aviation operations.

The DOA, which supervises 29 airports nationwide, was told to prepare an estimate of its loss so the government can work out proper compensation, Mr Chula said.

Aeronautical Radio of Thailand has asked the Transport Ministry to guarantee a low-interest loan for the agency as it is suffering liquidity problems after airport closures due to the pandemic saw revenue from air traffic control fees plummet.

Meanwhile, the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) has published travel guidelines, known as "Take-off" for governments to follow in reconnecting people and economies.

According to the International Air Transport Association (IATA), Take-off outlines measures to mitigate the risk of Covid-19 transmission during air travel and the risk of importation of Covid-19 via air travel.

Covid-19 testing should not be a necessary condition for re-opening borders or resuming travel, it said.


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