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Airlines Grounded Due to Covid-19
26 March 2020 | Written by dtnweb

The Civil Aviation Authority of Thailand (CAAT) has confirmed that numerous airlines will suspend their flight schedules due to the on-going Covid-19 situation. The news was confirmed in a statement by Director General Chula Sukmanop on Tuesday (24th March, 2020). A total of nine airlines will halt their operations. The nine airlines in question are Thai Airways International, THAI Smile, Bangkok Airways, Thai AirAsia, Thai AirAsia X, Thai Lion Air, Nok Air, Nok Scoot and Thai VietJet Air.

“Most airlines want to cancel only some flights and some routes, so we have approved their requests accordingly,” said the director general. He also reiterated that the airlines must take the appropriate steps to compensate travellers affected by the cancellations. “They [the airlines] must have plans to compensate customers who have already bought their tickets and they must notify the customers of flight cancelations in advance,” he added.

Thailand’s Ministry of Transport has confirmed that any airlines wishing to cancel their flights must compensate their customers by refunding the cost of tickets and other related fees. In case the customers had bought tickets with cash, the refund transaction must be completed within seven days of customers submitting a request.

Thai Lion Air have confirmed they will suspend all domestic and international flights between March 25 and April 30, while THAI Smile, Thai AirAsia and Bangkok Airways have also suspended all international flights from March 22 until further notice. THAI will ground their European flights between April 1 to May 31, while regional flights (including Singapore) will also be suspended from March 25 until May 31.

Earlier this week, the Prime Minister confirmed that an increase in executive powers is necessary to contain the spread of the coronavirus virus, particularly as this time of year is traditionally when many Thai nationals return home for the Songkran holidays. Thailand will therefore be under emergency decree from today (26/3) until the end of April 2020. You can read the news in full here.

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