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8 June u 8 July 2020

Thai Airways Extends Suspension of Flights Until 1 September 2020

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 been 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.

Thai Airways Airbus A350 reg: HS-THE. Picture by Steven Howard of TravelNewsAsia.com Click to enlarge.

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 the ground.

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 on this

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 quarantine.

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.

See latest Travel News, Video Interviews, Podcasts and other news regarding: COVID19, Thai Airways, Thailand.

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