BANGKOK, 11 May 2021: Aeronautical Radio of Thailand has lowered its estimates for domestic and international airline traffic in 2021 to 323,093 flights.
The revised estimate represents a 38% reduction from the 518,790 flights estimated at the start of the year.
Aerothai vice-president Thinnakorn Chuwong said the rising
number of Covid-19 infections in Thailand and overseas has caused domestic and
international travel to decline well below earlier forecasts.
In addition, Thailand measures introduced at the end of
April to slow inter-provincial domestic travel has dramatically cut flights.
He added that Aerothai estimates that the impact of the
current wave of Covid-19 infections will last throughout May, and recovery
would most likely begin slowly during June. The country’s Civil Aviation
Authority of Thailand says it intends to ease restrictions on air travel in
July, but that will also depend on whether the current surge in Covid-19 cases
slow enough to make it safe to resume international travel.
Thailand reported 1,630 new cases 10 May and 22 deaths.
Cumulative cases since March total 80,005 and fatalities 421.
Thinnakorn added that the government’s “Phuket
Sandbox” campaign that is supposed to start this July could help boost air
travel from July to August to around 1,095 flights per day, which would be the
same level as of December 2020, just before the start of the second Covid-19
Authorities have said the sandbox campaign, which would
allow quarantine-free travel to Phuket, depends on vaccinating at least 70% of
the island’s population and a substantial reduction in the daily country-wide
cases that vary from 1,600 to 2,400 daily.