THAI-Smile Suspends Domestic Flights
All foreign and Thai travellers are herewith informed that all domestic flights from 07-30 April, 2020, operated by THAI Smile Airways will be suspended. The temporary suspension of THAI Smile’s domestic flights followed its previous announcement on the suspension of all international flights from 23 March, 2020, until further notice.
The airline has advised passengers, who have booked their domestic flights during the suspension period, to consider either extending the ticket validity for one year without fees or obtaining a full refund in the form of an Electronic Miscellaneous Document (EMD) for one year.
Passengers can request for a credit refund request via https://member.thaismileair.com/customerservice/refund or contact the Airline’s Smile Service Centre at Suvarnabhumi-Bangkok, Chiang Mai, Chiang Rai, Hat Yai, Phuket, Surat Thani, or at the Parliament Building, Head Office; 1st Floor, Building 9, Vibhavadi-Rangsit Road, via the 24-hrs Smile Contact Centre at 1181 / 02-118-8888, or email to email@example.com
Notification of the Civil Aviation Authority of Thailand, dated March 19, 2020, on Practical Guideline for Air Operators Performing Flights into the Kingdom of Thailand. This notification shall be effective from 00.00 Thailand Local Time on 22 March 2020 (At the Time of Check-In at the Airport of Departure) until further notice.
Currently, the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) outbreak has spread across the world and the World Health Organization (WHO) stated that COVID-19 could be characterized as a pandemic (WHO declared COVID-19 a pandemic on 11 March 2020). People and outbound travelers are recommended to closely monitor the situation. Moreover, the public must fully cooperate and act as the Ministry of Public Health (MoPH) recommends for your safety and for the safety of others, and to decrease the negative social and economic impacts.
All travelers traveling to Thailand are required to present the following health certifications and a document of health insurance to the airlines at the airport of origin before check-in.
Travelers from the Disease Infected Zones (China, Macau, Hong Kong, Korea, Italy, Iran) and Travelers from ongoing local transmission areas (France, Spain, USA, Switzerland, Norway, Denmark, Netherlands, Sweden, Great Britain, specific cities in Japan, Germany) More details are recommended to implement control for observation (meaning supervision without quarantine) in order to ensure self-monitoring at their residence for no less than 14 days.
Travelers from other areas are recommended to take care of themselves with good sanitation, self-protection and by avoiding crowded places
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The Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) would like to inform foreign passengers planning to enter Thailand of the latest travel advisory from the Civil Aviation Authority of Thailand (CAAT) issued on 26 March, 2020, in line with the Royal Thai Government’s declaration of the state of emergency.
Passengers or persons shall be permitted to enter Thailand through international airports only if they fall under one of the following categories:
- Being in the situation or a person exempted by the Prime Minister or Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, under certain conditions and prescribed time period.
- Carriers of necessary cargoes must promptly exit after the mission is completed.
- Pilot-in-command and crew members of the flight entering Thailand with a clear schedule to depart.
- Persons at a diplomatic or consular mission, or under an international organisation, representatives of the government performing their duties in Thailand, or other persons or international agencies that the Ministry of Foreign Affairs gives permission, and their families. In this case, a certificate of entry to the Kingdom issued by Ministry of Foreign Affairs is required.
- Non-Thai nationals with a work permit or who have been granted permission from Thai government agencies to work in Thailand.
- Thai nationals with a certificate of entry to the Kingdom issued by the Royal Thai Embassy or Royal Thai Consulate in their country of residence certifying that they are Thais returning to Thailand, and a Fit to Fly Health Certificate.
- Passengers or persons permitted to enter Thailand shall strictly comply with disease prevention measures imposed by the government.
- Immigration officers have the power to deny the entry of Non-Thai nationals who have been tested positive for COVID- 19, or who are under suspicion of being infected or refuse to undergo such test.
- From now to 31 March, 2020, midnight, Thailand local time, exemption is given to Non-Thai passengers transiting through Thailand to a third country with a transit time of no more than 24 hours. Such transit passengers are required to present a Fit to Fly Health Certificate upon checking in at the airport of departure to Thailand and during transit formalities in Thailand.
- All previous Notifications of CAAT are null and void.
Thailand will temporarily ban all passenger flights from landing in the country to curb the outbreak of the new coronavirus, the country's aviation agency said on Friday. The ban on incoming flights will come into effect on Saturday morning and run until the end of Monday, the Civil Aviation Authority of Thailand said in an order published late on Friday.
Anyone arriving on a flight that took off before the order came into effect will need to be quarantined for 14 days upon arrival in Thailand, the order said. It came just hours after a commotion at Bangkok's Suvarnabhumi airport when more than 100 Thai nationals arrived on different flights on Friday, a Thai immigration officer told the press. "A public health officer allowed them to quarantine themselves at home. There was a commotion because they said they weren't aware they had to be put in a state quarantine," the officer said.
Thailand, which has reported 1,978 cases of the coronavirus and 19 deaths so far, wants to avoid importing more cases. Since March 1, there has been a rising number of people who were infected abroad before returning home. The authorities have put nearly 2,000 people who came into contact with them in quarantine.The ban on incoming air travel came a day after the Thai government asked citizens abroad to delay returning home until after April 15 in a bid to stop imported cases.
Thailand has six international airports, including in the capital Bangkok, which is under a curfew from Friday, and the popular tourist island Phuket, which was planning to shut its airport down from April 10 to April 30.
Passenger flights are further suspended until April 18.2020
Update: April 07.2020
The Civil Aviation Authority of Thailand, having earlier saying they would lift the ban on incoming flights tonight, has now decided to further extend the ban on passenger flights to the Kingdom until the end of Saturday, April 18. CAAT had initially prohibited all aircraft from entering Thailand for three days, which would have ended at midnight tonight but it was decided to extend the ban to help prevent more infection from the Covid-19 contagion.
The order, according to CAAT director-general Chula Sukamanop, exempts state or military aircraft from landing, emergency landings, technical landings without any passengers disembarking, humanitarian aid and medical or relief flights, repatriation flights and cargo aircraft. Passengers who were en route to Thailand prior to this latest announcement will be subject to a 14 day quarantine in Thailand until further notice.
Passenger Flights are further suspended until April 30.2020
Update: April 15.2020
According to the latest Notification of the Civil Aviation Authority of Thailand, the ban on international passenger flights to Thailand will be extended from 18 April 2020 at 17.00 UTC to 30 April 2020 at 17.00 UTC. All flight permits granted for such period will be canceled.
The ban does not apply to state or military aircraft, emergency landing, technical landing without disembarkation, humanitarian, medical or relief flights, repatriation flights and cargo flights.
The passengers on board the aircraft in 2. will be subject to the measures under communicable disease law, such as 14 day state quarantine, and the regulation under the Emergency Decree on State of Emergency
There are just a few airlines flying services from Thailand, mostly with connections in a third country, but the choice is shrinking fast. Although most of the flights are fully booked, there is a chance for passengers to stand by at the airport as seats are usually available due to no shows. Notify the check-in staff at least two hours before the counter closes so that you have sufficient time to get the tickets issued.
This route from BKK to HEL has now been suspended until the end of June 2020.
All flights to/from Thailand are suspended.
Thai Airways International
All flights from Bangkok (BKK) are suspended.
All flights from Bangkok (BKK) are suspended.
Check for connections on BR67 Bangkok (BKK) to Heathrow (LHR) departing at 12:30.
From April 13-27.2020 one flight will operate on Wednesdays and Saturdays only.
All flights to/from Thailand are suspended.
3 flights, with limited availability. Standby – available to passengers who already hold previously issued Qatar Air tickets. 10% discount for one way travel here, use promo code TRAVELHOME. All bookings must be made online.
From 01 April 2020 the airline offers two flights a week, Mondays and Saturdays only
All flights are suspended until 30 April 2020. It plans to resume domestic flights 01 May 2020.
All domestic flights are suspended.
Flights from/to Phuket are suspended but some domestic flights are operating from other cities in Thailand.
Thai Vietjet Air
Chiang Mai (CNX) to Bangkok (BKK) two flights seems to be operational; VZ105 at 1400hrs and V2107 at 2200hrs.
Casting our eyes into the crystal ball has never been so difficult with so many varied issues clouding the post-coronavirus future. For Thailand, the future of world and domestic travel has never been so critical as tourism drives much of the Thai economy. Will the tourists come back? Will they be allowed back? When? And under what restrictions? What will happen with all the empty hotels? How long will it take for Thai tourism to recover?
Skål International Bangkok President, Andrew J Wood, has been looking into the crystal ball and shares what we can expect to see once the Coronavirus starts to dissipate in Thailand, and the world. Whoever said the virus will not change the world are WRONG. There have been so many changes in the past three months our industry is still reeling as all marketing and business plans go out the window as the whole world applied the brakes and came to a complete standstill.
So when the wheels finally start turning again what are we likely to see? Here’s my 12 predictions for the travel and tourism industry. It is based on my experience in Asia however we are a global industry and I believe there are global ramifications.
- Coronavirus will dissipate becoming less deadly but will not disappear.
- Rebounds are a very real danger and countries such as NZ and AUSTRALIA are already discussing keeping borders CLOSED for 12 MONTHS to avoid any rebound. Stopping both INBOUND and OUTBOUND visits. They will not be alone – other countries will restrict access also.
- Domestic tourism and travel is set to EXPLODE.
- Family travel will also boom. The decision makers – will be the kids! Gear activities and menus around the decision makers.
- Activity and experiential vacations will be key.
- Hotels will take firmer control of room inventory – having best available rates only on their websites for direct bookings and their own social media platforms.
- OTA’s will finally lose their stranglehold on hotel bookings and their huge 25% commissions.
- Travel Agents regrettably will see even further business declines in their business volumes post Corvid-19. Potential travellers will continue to D-I-Y digitally as they are becoming increasingly computer proficient and savvy surfers.
- Green travel and care of the environment will see record volume growth as the travelling public now ‘get-it’ after the effects of a virus that stopped the world in its tracks.
- Business travel and daily commuting will decline as we embrace work-at-home. It works! We will see, in city locations, corporate business shrink to 4D3N (4 days, 3 nights) during the week and leisure relatrd business increase to 3D2N.
- Video conferencing and webinars will increase but face-to-face meetings and conferences along with trade shows and congresses will survive. We are human and we like human interaction.
- As domestic and family travel grows, 5-star hotel occupancies will decline. Mid range hotels will see the fastest growth.
With a dozen or more airlines, including national flag carrier Thai Airways suspending flights or completely grounding their fleets due to the Covid-19 crisis, there is a ray of sunshine. AirAsia is set to resume domestic flights, starting with the home base in Malaysia on April 29, followed by Thailand and the Philippines on May 01, India on May 04 and Indonesia on May 07, subject to approval from local authorities.
The resumptions will initially be only for selected domestic routes, but will increase gradually to include international destinations once the situation improves and governments lift borders and travel restrictions.
Flights are already open for booking via the airasia.com website and mobile App. Guests with flight credits due to previous cancellations may use their accounts to redeem these flights. Further details on routes and flight schedule will be announced in the coming weeks, subject to approval from the respective authorities.
“We are very pleased to be able to fly again and to serve our guests starting with domestic routes, and hope to resume full operations as soon as possible. We have undertaken a thorough review of our guest handling procedures both on ground and onboard in light of the Covid-19 pandemic. We have been working closely with the airport authorities to ensure that all relevant precautionary measures are in place to ensure a safe, pleasant and comfortable journey for everyone.”
Guests are still advised to take protective precautionary measures including wearing a mask, social distancing and observing strict personal hygiene. The aircraft, which are fitted with hospital-grade High Efficiency Particulate Air (HEPA) filters, will also be sent for thorough disinfection after each flight.
Guests are advised to keep updated via Travel Advisories issued by AirAsia on airasia.com and social media platforms and to check their flight status at airasia.com/flightstatus for live updates.
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Tourism is a vital part of Thailand’s economy. And as the country emerges into the post-Covid world, getting tourists back to the country will be an essential springboard to the rest of the Thai economy. None of that will be automatic or easy as international travel has been severely disrupted and will take months, probably years, to recover. But once they arrive here, either as domestic, regional or international travellers, the decisions about where they stay will now shaped by new criteria.
As part of our series looking at “Thailand’s Countdown to Re-opening”, Bill Barnett looks at Thailand’s hotel industry as it prepares for the new ‘normal’.
The single most critical issue facing Thailand’s hotel operators and owners is the restarting of the country’s economic engine, which includes tourism. From the ground today, the stark truth is it is high time hoteliers shift their current doomsday mindset. They must stop falling into the bottomless trap of desperation and emotional despair that create the aura of an industry as a helpless victim. Exit Sandman enter Marvel.
First off, hotels need to change the narrative. The pathway to reopening Thailand’s Covid-19 stunted economic model is becoming clear, as the national curve of virus cases is statistically moving towards flatter terrain. Science matters. But the clear and present danger is that the government must take control of the levers of the economic recovery or else the damage to the country’s tourism workforce will be even harsher and create tragic consequences.
Thailand’s travel and tourism industry directly contributes an estimated 12-14% of GDP, while the expanded and informal contribution is likely at 20% or slightly above. More important to the percentage is that tourism is the face of the country that is now the second largest economy in Southeast Asia. The Thai smile is a global icon and symbol of the national character.
But as we move into unknown post-virus mode, the hotel industry has forgotten how to smile and lost its true essence, self-esteem and it it’s vital importance as a gateway to Brand Thailand.
In the coming days and weeks, hotels focus must be taking a look forward and not caught up in the past. The pathway of tourism recovery will no doubt start at the domestic level and next radiate into intra-regional travel. Hotels and operators have to learn and adjust to a new regime of health and safety concerns at all levels of the experience – guests, staff, premises and supplies. There are no short-cuts here and the preparation of these processes has to be done today, as it’s an arduous task.
But equally important to the planning is the reality that travel preferences in the near future will be based on a new criteria. It’s conceivable that potential guests who used to be influenced by TripAdvisor, will now make a travel decision based on perceptions and concerns over personal safety, standards and hygiene.
Currently the Tourism Authority of Thailand is reportedly working on a set of new standards with the Ministry of Public Health, under the Safety and Health Administration. Regionally the Singapore Tourism Board has undertaken a health audit program for hotels and tourism establishment. The program will audit 570 hotels and venues in the next sixty days.
For Thailand’s tourism economy to restart it has to understand it must win visitors back. They won’t just magically return. There are no lack of choices in Asia and reality is a price driven recovery trajectory is likely given the intrinsic damage to businesses across all markets.
For those who say ‘we are headed into unknown territory’, a new villain named ‘fear factor’ has emerged. We have in reality entered a new business cycle and can learn a bit from history. Take 9/11 and the emergence of a fear of flying afterwards. Security, safety and standards were implemented to both avoid repeat incidents, and to instil traveller confidence. Yes, lines formed and travel took longer but what we have learned is the importance of travel as a part of our business and leisure lifestyle. It helps define who we are. In a nutshell, be it 9/11 or Covid-19, this too will pass.
For the hotel and travel sector the immediate task is to start planning for re-opening and rigorously addressing the new market challenges. Stop dwelling on what’s happened and move on. Tourism and hotels are a field of dreams and the reality is we did build it and they will come back.
The most important mantra today has to be that hotels and travel must return as superheroes. They must understand the importance of this face and smile to their country, the jobs and livelihoods the industry provides, and makes steps toward getting back to work as soon as it’s safe. Look to the remainder of 2020 and beyond not with fear but with fight and determination. Thailand, it’s time we get back on the road and back to business.
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State-owned Airports of Thailand Pcl (AOT.BK) said on Wednesday it expects the number of passengers passing through its airports to decline by 53% this year due to the outbreak of the new coronavirus. The organization expects the number of passengers to drop to 66.58 million and the number of flights to decline by 44.9% to 493,800 for its fiscal year ending in September.
AOT, which operates six airports including the country’s largest international hub, Suvarnabhumi Airport, saw nearly 900,000 flights and 141.8 million passengers in the year ended September 2019, booking profits of 25 billion baht ($773 million).
The airport operator said that recovery of air traffic and passenger volume would depend on multiple factors, including how countries manage the outbreak, prevention methods and the discovery of a vaccine. “The recovery of the aviation business will rely on destination countries. For Thailand this would include Asia-Pacific countries, which account for 80% of destinations,” AOT said in a statement, adding that it expected domestic flight to recover before international flights. Commercial air travel has all but stopped as the coronavirus continues to spread.
The country’s aviation regulator in early April imposed a ban on passenger flights until the end of the month to curb to spread of the virus. In March the government banned the entry of non-resident foreigners.
Budget carriers Thai AirAsia (AAV.BK) and Thai Lion Air said they would resume domestic flights on May 01.2020, with passengers asked to take precautionary measures including wearing masks and observing social distancing. Southeast Asia’s second-largest economy stands to lose 1.3 trillion THB, most of it in the tourism sector.