Local Flights Pick Up Steam In North
Air traffic at the Chiang Mai international airport is picking up with more flights and passengers expected this month, said Amornrat Chumsai Na Ayutthaya, the airport director.
The North’s main gateway airport is recovering some of its flight and passenger traffic. On average, the airport received 40 flights carrying about 4,000-5,000 passengers a day last month. The number of flights is expected to rise to 68 a day on average while passenger figures are predicted to jump 50% this month, according to Mr Amornrak.
However, scheduled flights operate only on domestic routes including those connecting Chiang Mai to other hub airports at U-Tapao, Hat Yai, Ubon Ratchathani and Udon Thani. International flights are likely to return slowly after the Civil Aviation Authority of Thailand (CAAT) announced the lifting of the ban on international flights under some conditions with immediate effect on Monday.
Analysts agreed inbound flights will not quickly return to the pre-Covid 19 level as air travel to and from the main markets still battered by the pandemic will remain suspended, and people are delaying their overseas travel plans.
The CAAT announcement coincided with the International Air Transport Association’s (IATA) release of figures for passenger demand in May (measured in revenue passenger kilometres or RPKs) which dropped 91.3% compared to May 2019. This was a mild uptick from the 94% annual decline recorded in April 2020. The improvement was driven by a recovery in some domestic markets, most notably China.
“May was not quite as terrible as April. That’s about the best thing that can be said,” said Alexandre de Juniac, IATA’s director-general and CEO, adding there is tremendous uncertainty about what impact a resurgence of new Covid-19 cases in key markets could have.
International passenger demand fell 98.3% in May compared to May 2019, virtually unchanged from the 98.4% decline recorded in April. Capacity plummeted 95.3%, and load factor sank 51.9 percentage points to 28.6%, meaning just over a quarter of seats were filled, on average.
Asia-Pacific airlines’ May traffic plunged 98% compared to the year-ago period, also in line with a 98.2% recorded in April. Capacity fell 95.1% and load factor shrank 46.6 percentage points to 32.1%.
Full Story: ITCTravel
PM calls on economic team to reboot economy after COVID-19 outbreak
BANGKOK, July 2 (Xinhua) — Thai Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha said on Thursday that he had held meetings with his economic team to discuss the state of Thailand’s economy hit by the COVID-19 pandemic, as well as to find ways to reboot the country.
“We need to quickly seek measures in assisting the small and medium-sized enterprises (SME) and promote domestic tourism” said Prayut, noting that both factors are the backbones of Thai’s economy.
Finance Minister Uttama Savanayana also noted that his ministry will be working with the Thai Credit Guarantee Corporation to develop a credit guarantee project to help small businesses.
Meanwhile, Deputy Prime Minister Somkid Jatusripitak on Thursday assigned the Revenue Department and the Fiscal Policy Office to come up with measures to encourage community-level tourism and woo big spenders.
“The measures should be ready by mid July,” said Somkid. “The Bank of Thailand will find measures for businesses to seek more loans from commercial banks.”
Full Story: Xinhua