BANGKOK, 30 July 2021: Both Vietnam and Thailand’s domestic airlines are grounding services as Covid-19 outbreaks in the two countries prompt transport lockdowns.

Thailand

Thailand’s airlines grounded most domestic flights in and out of deep red zones from 21 July through to 3 August. The Civil Aviation Authority of Thailand continues to lock down airline travel to and from the capital Bangkok and 12 provinces in the country’s central region. The CAAT order is likely to be extended for another 14 days as Covid-19 new cases tally accelerates to more than 17,000 daily and is expected to surpass 20,000 according to forecasts made by health authorities. 

The only remaining flights are three daily services from Bangkok to Samui Island to feed the Samui Plus scheme and flights from Phuket to Samui, all operated by Bangkok Airways. Without the three Phuket-Samui flights, many travellers, who completed their 14-days island stay on Phuket and were eligible to travel elsewhere in the country, needed to revise their travel plans or even cut short their Thailand stay and take the flight back home.

Vietnam

In Vietnam, Bamboo Airways, Vietjet and Pacific Airlines
suspended most of their scheduled services indefinitely following a surge in
Covid-19 cases.

First reported by the Vietnam News Service, Bamboo Airways confirmed it had suspended flights from 26 July to 7 August.

A check of the booking websites of Vietjet and Pacific Airlines this week showed most flights to Hanoi, Ho Chi Minh City and Danang were grounded.

Flights between Ho Chi Minh City and Hanoi were cancelled
earlier on 23 July. Vietnam Airlines serves the route with just two flights
daily.

As of 29 July, Vietnam’s Ministry of Health confirmed a total of 123,640 cases of COVID-19. Vietnam has also recorded 630 deaths due to the pandemic. The latest community transmission cases have been reported from Ho Chi Minh City, Binh Duong, Long An, Dong Nai, and Tay Ninh, among others.

Meanwhile, Thailand’s Nok Air, plagued by massive losses,
reported to the Stock Exchange of Thailand on Thursday that it would
“partially suspend operations due to force majeure.”

It quoted the most recent Declaration of Emergency by the
government and the Civil Aviation Authority of Thailand prohibiting passenger
flight operations from 21 July “until further announcements.”

In July 2020, Nok Airlines Public Company Limited filed a rehabilitation petition with the Central Bankruptcy Court in Bangkok. Following that filing, Central Bankruptcy Court issued an order for the company to proceed with the rehabilitation process. The airline’s creditors will cast their vote on the proposed rehabilitation plan on 4 August via an e-meeting.