Blaming continuous immigration restrictions and government measures, Thai Airways has extended the suspension of its international flights until September. Thai Airways has not flown international services for several months now. It looks like being a while longer before Thai’s distinctively liveried aircraft return to the skies.
“We appreciate the continuous disruption and inconvenience this may cause to passengers and truly apologize for this,” Thai Airways said about the flight suspensions.
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Thai border closed, flights suspended since March
Thai Airways began suspending its flying back in March as COVID-19 started to bite. The decision was a no-brainer. Thailand closed its borders to non-residents and citizens around the same time.
To grasp the impact this decision had on Thai Airways, consider that tourism usually accounts for one-fifth of Thailand’s gross domestic product. In April 2019, 3.2 million visitor arrivals poured US$4.7 billion into Thailand’s airlines, hotels, and businesses. In April 2020, zero visitors tipped in nothing.
But the problems at Thai Airways predated the travel downturn in 2020. The airline’s owners, the Thai Government, have long propped it up. The Thai Government has always placed considerable importance on Thai Airways staying in the air, no matter the cost.