China is seeking to increase the number of scheduled flights to Thailand

According to the Civil Aviation Authority of Thailand, the Civil Aviation Administration of China (CAAC) has taken the initiative to propose raising the number of scheduled flights between China and Thailand from three per week to 15 next month (CAAT).

The CAAT claims that it last week received a formal letter from the CAAC looking into the prospect of boosting the quantity of regularly scheduled passenger flights between the two nations.

According to the CAAT, China stated that it anticipates 15 flights per week from Thailand beginning in September. China also requested that Thailand take into account boosting the frequency of flights in the opposite way.

In the letter, the CAAC requested that the CAAT provide a plan for the flight routes that Thai airlines wish to use in order to determine if the relevant Chinese airports can accommodate the additional flights in light of the present COVID prevention strategy. For the time being, China does not let extra flights to certain cities like Beijing, Shanghai, and Guangzhou.

In order to acquire information on needs and interest in flying to China, the CAAT invited Thai airlines to a meeting on August 18. the CAAT reported

“Next week, the CAAC is anticipated to receive the flight plan. By the end of September, we hope to hear back from the CAAC.”

If approved, the flights might start up again by the end of the next month.

Although Chinese tourists were the largest foreign tourist group in Thailand before to the pandemic, the CAAT dispelled the notion that they would board these additional flights to return to Thailand. Due to China’s ongoing tight efforts against COVID-19, the increased flights would only be for important voyages like business trips and overseas student travel.

On August 19, Thailand’s Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha announced his country’s decision to halt the COVID epidemic by lifting the emergency decree and dissolving the COVID management authority (CCSA) on October 1.

Beginning on October 1st, 2022, Thailand will also expand the length of the tourist visa from no more than 30 days to no more than 45 days, as well as the length of the visa on arrival from no more than 15 days to no more than 30 days.

News of Thai Smile’s comeback to three Chinese cities was announced as early as late June on well-known websites like Weibo and TikTok. The flight’s WE684 schedule called for a 7:45 am departure from Bangkok Suvarnabhumi Airport (BKK) and a 12:05 pm arrival at Chongqing Jiangbei International Airport (CKG).

Regional airline Thai Smile, a unit of Thai Airways International, flies short- to medium-distance services. In 2012, it began operating its first overseas flights. According to its website, the fleet consists of 20 aircraft (Airbus A320-200 and A320-200SL) that go to Chinese destinations like Changsha, Chongqing, and Zhengzhou. Thai Smile flew three times per week between Bangkok and Chongqing in 2013. However, due to the epidemic, it has taken action, like other foreign airlines, to reduce or cancel its flights to China as of February 2020.

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