Flights between Thailand and China will resume after more than two years of inactivity. The Civil Aviation Administration of China (CAAC) is allowing airlines to restart these routes. China had been one of the few countries still banning all international due to COVID-19 concerns.
“The easing of travel restrictions in China is a good sign and will hopefully help the tourism sector rebound and generate revenue from the return of Chinese tourists,” Deputy Government Spokesperson Khun Traisuree Taisaranaku was quoted as saying by the Bangkok Post.
It was noted that tourists are not allowed to travel on these flights at least through the end of July. Individuals conducting business as well as students will be permitted to fly. Multiple airlines have been granted permission to resume service to Beijing and Shanghai. However, they must take turns flying into Guangzhou, Kunming and Nanning.
The Thai government is optimistic that restrictions will gradually be loosened in the coming months with Chinese tourists eventually being allowed to returned.
Flight bookings pickup across Southeast Asia
Flight bookings to destinations across Southeast Asia are increasing with several countries having loosened restrictions on inbound arrivals. While numbers are still well below pre-pandemic levels, online travel company Skyscanner is seeing a noticeable jump in people making plans to head overseas.
According to the travel firm, flight bookings made by travelers based in Great Britain, the United States and Germany increased by 19 and 300 percent when comparing December 2021 and January 2022. That coincided with Thailand and the Philippines, among other countries, rolling out plans to welcome vaccinated visitors.
“From Skyscanner’s global footprint, we’ve seen that when restrictions do ease, travellers react and are willing adapt to new measures in order to be able to travel internationally again,” Skyscanner Senior Regional Director Asia Pacific Paul Whiteway told Reuters. “Over the coming weeks, we will see markets react to the news, airlines announcing new schedules and building capacity to allow the return of international travel at scale.”