Thailand’s International Flight Ban Is Extended Indefinitely

On Wednesday, the Civil Aviation Authority of Thailand (CAAT) stated that the ban on international commercial flights will not be lifted, as the cases of the coronavirus pandemic continue to increase in several countries.

The CAAT director, Chula Sukmanop, informed that the ban is indefinite, and the Centre for Covid-19 Situation Administration (CCSA) will determine when the gates can be reopened, after assessing the situation on a global level.

He also explained that the Joint Standing Committee on Commerce, Industry and Banking (JSCCIB) notified the government that several foreigners are planning on visiting Thailand for business purposes and the officials are in the process of confirming if there are adequate state quarantine (ASQ) facilities available.

Several private players are trying to obtain ASQ-certificates, he added. This means that those visiting the country will have to bear the expenses of quarantining themselves, from their own pockets.

Moreover, the visitors must inform the Thai officials in advance regarding where they will be staying when they are in Thailand. They are also expected to quarantine themselves for 14 days, which has become a compulsory security measure.

Several foreigners who are scheduled to enter the country for medical treatment must quarantine themselves at a contracted hospital for a minimum of 14 days, to ensure that they do not transmit the virus if they are carriers.

He also added: “As of now, no commercial airlines are permitted to operate flights into and out of Thailand and only a number of foreign businesspeople are allowed to enter the country for business purposes.”

Along with these groups, Thai nationals stranded abroad are also looking to return to the country via repatriation flights, said Mr Chula.

In compliance with the precautionary measures laid down in relation to the coronavirus, only 500 incoming passengers are allowed each day.

The airline industry is one of the most affected industries amid the pandemic, with the Civil Aviation Authority of Thailand reporting that more than 249,000 flights were cancelled in the summer.

Domestic travel is gradually becoming better, as a steep increase has been observed from 2,000 flights in April to 13,900 flights in June.

However, the traffic is still quite low in comparison to January, when 47,200 domestic flights operated overall.