Thai airlines urged to halt red-eye flights

Photo: Suvarnabhumi Airport / Facebook
Photo: Suvarnabhumi Airport / Facebook

Aviation authorities yesterday issued guidelines urging airlines to suspend overnight domestic flights.

The Civil Aviation Authority of Thailand on Sunday asked airlines to cooperate with limiting public travel by suspending domestic flights between 11pm and 4am as COVID-19 infections continue to set daily record highs.

While no overnight curfews have been imposed, people have been asked to stay home from 10pm to 4am, as the third-wave outbreak which intensified early this month spread through Bangkok’s nightlife venues.

A total of 26 flights could be affected by the new travel restrictions: 11 departing from Don Mueang Airport, eight from Suvarnabhumi Airport, four from Phuket Airport, two from Hat Yai Airport and one from Chiang Mai Airport.

However, compliance is up to the airlines, according to Suttipong Kongpool, director of the Civil Aviation Authority, and passengers must be informed of any changes made to the schedule. If their flights are rescheduled or canceled, affected passengers must be compensated, Suttipong said.

Each airline and airport is required to remind passengers to practice social distancing. Any passenger who shows symptoms or has been in contact with COVID-19 patients but insists on traveling may face prosecution under the Disease Control Act.

Thailand has seen more than 1,000 new cases each day since Wednesday, with a further surge possible following last week’s Songkran holidays.

On Sunday, a new set of restrictions kicked in. They include shutting down brothels and karaoke joints nationwide for at least 14 days while restaurants in the 18 “red zone” provinces must close by 9pm (but can offer takeaway until 11pm) and cannot serve alcohol on-site.


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