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Thai air traffic to surge after entry rules eased on Sunday: CAAT

Air travel to Thailand will surge from Sunday when entry restrictions are eased but plane fares will likely rise due to higher fuel prices, said the Civil Aviation Authority of Thailand (CAAT).

CAAT director-general Sutthipong Kongpool said arrivals would rise significantly after the country drops the requirement for hotel quarantine and pre-travel Covid-19 tests on May 1.

“Travel will see a strong resurgence after May 1 because conditions [for entry] will return to almost pre-Covid normality. Travellers just need to register [for the Thailand Pass] and submit their vaccination certificate,” he said.

Signs of recovery emerged in the first quarter of this year, when Thailand saw a total of 11.26 million passengers, up 2.5 million from the previous quarter.

There were 108,987 flights throughout Thailand in the first quarter, up 21,277 from the previous quarter, according to CAAT.

Thai air traffic to surge after entry rules eased on Sunday: CAAT

Sutthipong expected Thailand’s aviation market to be “the most active” in Asia – particularly Singapore – following the relaxation of entry regulations.

The European market is also likely to see continued recovery, particularly from countries where Covid-19 travel rules have been eased.

Domestic air travel is also recovering well thanks to relaxed rules, high vaccination rates, and the reduced severity of Omicron, he added.

However, growing demand for air travel is being offset by fallout from the war between Russia and Ukraine, the CAAT chief said. The rising cost of fuel is adding to airlines’ costs and would likely force them to raise airfares in the second quarter of this year.

Published : April 30, 2022