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Low demand forces 10 Chinese airlines to axe Thailand flights

Chinese arrive in Thailand
FILE PHOTO: Chinese visitors arrive in Thailand

A total of 10 Chinese airlines are being forced to cancel flights to Thailand due to low demand.

The airlines – Air China, China Eastern, Shanghai Airlines, Spring Airlines, China Southern, Shenzhen Airlines, Juneyao Airlines, Okay Airways, Hainan Airlines and Beijing Capital are all seeing fewer bookings than expected.

According to the director-general of the Civil Aviation Authority of Thailand, the cancelled flights were due to operate during next month and January – traditionally the peak tourist season for Thailand.

Suttipong Kongpool adds that out of 10,939 flights originally scheduled for next month, only 5,858 have been confirmed as operating, meaning a reduction of 46%. In January, only 7,420 flights out of a planned 10,984 will operate.

China’s slow economic recovery and local promotion of domestic tourism is being blamed for the low demand, with Piyasawat Amranand from Thai Airways saying Thailand’s new policy of temporary visa exemptions for Chinese tourists doesn’t appear to be working.

The recovery in the Chinese tourism market is only around 40% when compared to pre-pandemic days, with Korakot Chatasingha, chief commercial officer with Thai Airways, saying the carrier is being forced to look at other potential markets.

Korakot adds that things don’t look any better for the Chinese New Year holiday period, but says airlines will need to look at bookings again after December.

SOURCE: Nation Thailand

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