The Thai government says it’s continuing to monitor the issue of high airfares and working to implement measures to address the problem. Government spokesman Anucha Burapachaisri says PM Prayut Chan-o-cha is aware of the issue, which is having a negative impact on the revival of tourism in Thailand and consequently, the economy.
Despite the cost of airfares usually being driven by purely market forces, and supply and demand, the Thai government believes it can play a role in pushing down the current high airline ticket prices, both international and domestic.
A report from the National News Bureau of Thailand says the Ministry of Transport has been tasked with overseeing the issue of domestic airfares, with a view to keeping prices fair for passengers. At a recent Cabinet meeting, the ministry presented a number of guidelines drawn up by the Civil Aviation Authority of Thailand, aimed at addressing the issue.
These include allowing more flights into the country, thereby increasing capacity for airlines, reinstating airline slots that were operational pre-pandemic, increasing the number of ground-handling agents, and using social media to urge passengers to plan ahead and arrive in plenty of time at the airport, so as to reduce the chance of encountering problems.
According to the report, the CAAT has also met with airline representatives and conducted workshops aimed at consolidating both complaints and suggestions from the public and private sectors. The authority has also published fare rates for each semester and is conducting inspections to ensure airlines are not increasing airfares during periods of high demand.
Meanwhile, the Transport Ministry says demand for domestic flights has recovered significantly, particularly during the last half of 2022. Domestic passenger numbers have increased by 85% and international passengers have increased by nearly 54%. This means airlines are now struggling to meet demand, with many carriers having downsized their fleet size during the Covid-19 pandemic.
SOURCE: National News Bureau of Thailand