There are now just three flights per week between Thailand and China, but the CAAC has requested an increase to 15 flights per week in a letter, according to the Civil Aviation Authority of Thailand. All of the Thai-based airlines will discuss the concept, and the CAAT will develop a list to send to China perhaps next week. The flights would then be expedited, and if Chinese airports can handle them, they might start operating as early as September. They have asked the authorities to provide them with a list of airlines operating in Thailand and potential routes they would be interested in flying, even if they have limited capacity at some of the main airports like Shanghai, Beijing, and Guangzhou.
Increased flights might be a great help to Thailand’s beleaguered tourism industry, since China has historically been a major supplier of travelers due to Covid-19 limitations and restricted international travel options. While the increased frequency of flights between Thailand and China will primarily be for essential travel, it establishes the groundwork for when China loosens its rigorous pandemic restrictions so that tourism may resume, something the Thai tourism market has been anxiously anticipating. However, the CAAT stated that the majority of these requested flights are for important travel, such as business visits, and that China’s stringent Covid regulations are still in effect. The Chinese airports will then state if they can accommodate flights from Thailand. The CAAT’s Chinese counterpart has proposed reciprocity, asking Thailand to boost flights leaving the country bound for China in return for China’s desire for additional flights into Thailand. Given that the Chinese Civil Aviation Administration has asked for a quintupling of the number of flights between the two nations, an increase in Chinese travel to Thailand may be imminent.

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