Aeronautical Radio of Thailand (Aerothai) has lowered its estimates of total domestic and international air travel in 2021 to 323,093 flights, a 38% reduction from its 518,790 flights estimate at the start of the year.
Aerothai vice-president Thinnakorn Chuwong said the rising number of COVID-19 infections in Thailand and overseas has caused domestic and international travel to decline, while the government’s measures, urging people to refrain from inter-provincial travel, will further decrease demand for domestic flights.
He said, however, that Aerothai estimates that the impact of the current wave of COVID-19 infections will last through May and recovery could start slowly from June onwards, coinciding with the period when the Civil Aviation Authority of Thailand will ease restrictions on air travel.
Mr. Thinnakorn added that the government’s “Phuket Sandbox” campaign will start in July, which could help boost air travel from July to August to around 1,095 flights per day, the same level as of December last year, right before the start of the second wave.
By Joe Cusmano