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    Airlines look to vaccine rollout to restore demand and boost economy | Thaiger

    Airlines are pinning their hopes on Thailand’s vaccine rollout as the key to restoring traveller confidence and boosting the economy. All eyes are on Phuket in particular, to see how the much-discussed sandbox re-opening fares. Wutthiphum Jurangkool, chief executive of Nok Air, says June has already seen a slight increase in bookings. “After passenger traffic recorded a whopping 90% decrease in May, bookings this month have improved because of vaccinations and less worry regarding the third wave.” Nok Air is expected to meet with creditors in August, with Wutthiphum hopeful they will approve a rehabilitation plan submitted by the carrier […] More

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    Airlines cautiously optimistic on travel demand

    Airlines cautiously optimistic on travel demand Timely mass vaccinations and success of the sandbox model will determine whether tourism and aviation will see a rebound this year A Nok Air crew member screens passengers during check-in at Don Mueang airport. Pornprom Satrabhaya The tourism and aviation industries are hoping the country’s mass vaccination scheme can improve travel sentiment and gradually bolster the economy. The Phuket sandbox model, scheduled to welcome vaccinated foreigners starting July 1, is a big test for airlines with other destinations watching to see if they can bring back international tourists as well. “After passenger traffic recorded a […] More

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    Local airlines in no rush to serve Phuket

    Empty sunbeds are seen around the swimming pool of a hotel which has opened for visitors in Karon, Phuket. (Reuters photo) Local airlines are still reluctant to join the Phuket sandbox model as shaky travel regulations and unstable tourism demand remain an obstacle. Since the third wave of the pandemic began to ravage domestic demand in April, the average load factor has plunged as many provinces have imposed travel restrictions on people from the red zone, led by Bangkok, the epicentre of the fresh outbreak, said Tassapon Bijleveld, executive chairman of Asia Aviation Plc (AAV), the largest shareholder of Thai AirAsia. […] More