Thai suspends flights until September


Bangkok Airport in busier times (photo courtesy Unsplash/Marcus Winkler).


Thai Airways has announced it won’t be flying again until September.


According to the airline, the ongoing pandemic, continuous immigration restrictions and government measures mean it has been forced to continue its temporary suspension of international flights.


“We appreciate the continuous disruption and inconvenience this may cause to passengers and truly apologise for this,” said a statement on the carrier’s website.


Thai initially suspended flights in March as the coronavirus pandemic spread globally. At the same time, Thailand closed its international borders to non-residents and imposed a domestic lockdown.


Tourism normally accounts for one fifth of the country’s gross domestic product with more than one million visitors flying in during April 2019. But in April 2020, that figure had fallen to zero. Except for a handful of repatriation and cargo flights, Thai’s aircraft have remained grounded since March.


The airline had originally planned to take to the air again in June, but this date was pushed back to July and then to August. The airline now anticipates flights will take off on September 1 with a staggered resumption, reduced frequency and downsized aircraft. It’s believed that some routes will not resume until October.


To add to its woes, Thai Airways is currently in the process of restructuring through the bankruptcy court.


If your flight has been cancelled, you can check its status through the My Booking section of the Thai Airways website.


Passengers with tickets that were booked on or before July 9 for travel up to January 31, 2021, will be able to rebook or extend the validity of their ticket and rebook at a later date for travel until December 31, 2021. All change fees will be waived.


Passengers also have the option to reroute their travel up to December 31, 2021, request a travel voucher or cancel their ticket. However, the airline warns that refunds are estimated to take up to six months to process.


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