COVID surge wrecks havoc in Thai aviation sector

Sorawit Pootonglor

AirAsia’s Thai subsidiary has extended its domestic flight suspension for at least another week amid towering COVID-19 cases in the country.

The suspension, which was supposed to last until July 31, 2021, has been postponed until August 8, 2021. 

“We will continue to monitor the situation closely and will be prepared to reinstate our scheduled flight services again as soon as possible,” said AirAsia in a statement. 

Low-cost carrier Nok Air also announced a partial suspension of operations due to force majeure effective August 1, 2021.

Nok is undergoing a business restructuring process and has not elaborated on the partial suspension in operations. “[we] will utilise all remedial measures and hope that the situation will recover to normal soon”.

Meanwhile, the Government of Thailand is compelling airlines to avoid and suspend commercial travel to and from “dark red zones”, which are the provinces defined as the most affected by Coronavirus. 

Since the announcement for suspending flights to the most affected provinces, the regional unit of the Thai flag carrier, Thai Smile, has announced that it was suspending all domestic flights until August 3, 2021.

Thailand is currently battling with the worst wave of the COVID-19 pandemic experienced by the country. With a record-breaking infection rate observed, the local aviation sector remains uncertain.

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