Thai Airways has extended its suspension of
flights for yet another month.
Thailand's national carrier had originally planned
to resume flights in June, but TravelNewsAsia.com reported n April that this had
postponed by a month until the beginning of July, with the
airline making an
official announcement on 18 May.
A contact at Thai Airways, who asked not to be
named, told TNA in late-May that
flights were to resume on 1 August 2020, at the earliest.
On Wednesday, 8 July, TravelNewsAsia.com learned that the Thai flag carrier has
cancelled all of its flights in August, and is now planning to resume flights on 1
September 2020, at the earliest.
The airline plans to stagger the resumption of
flights with select key routes launching first.
It will also reduce the frequency
and downsize the aircraft used on routes. London, for example is
normally a double daily service that utilises an Airbus A380 and Boeing 777,
but will resume as a daily Boeing 777 flight once TG's planes get off
Some routes will only resume on 25 October, around
the beginning of the northern winter schedule.
Thai Airways has not made an official statement on
this latest extension to 1 September, nor shared any details of the resumption of flights.
TG's continued suspension of flights
raises quite a few questions for those currently in Thailand
waiting to fly home, and for those overseas waiting to get back.
At the moment, the visa amnesty in Thailand
lasts until 31 July, and while there are some airlines that are
operating passenger flights ex-Thailand only, people holding tickets
with TG won't want to spend money on a new ticket, and it is not
clear whether they would be allowed to transfer to another Star
Alliance carrier free of charge. Star Alliance has been very quiet
It is also not clear when those with tickets
on Thai Airways would be allowed to return to Thailand. The
airline is currently operating repatriation flights, but these are
only available to Thais and any foreigners wanting to get a seat must meet a strict and
limiting criteria which involves paying for 14-16 days in
The ban on incoming international passenger
flights is currently in place until 31 July. With Thai Airways
extending its suspension of international flights until the
beginning of September, it also raises
the question of whether the ban could be extended or would the
Thai Government allow other airlines to operate scheduled flights
into the Kingdom whilst the national carrier's planes remain grounded.
To make matters even more complicated, Thai Airways is
in the process of restructuring through
the bankruptcy court.