Six airlines to offer discounted flights for Songkran holidayLegacy

The Civil Aviation Authority of Thailand (CAAT) confirmed that six airlines will introduce 104 additional flights, offering a discount of approximately 20% for early morning and late night domestic flights during the Songkran holiday. This move is designed to offer a more economical travel option for holidaymakers.

The announcement was made yesterday by the Deputy Director-General of CAAT, Sarun Benjanirut. He stated that the decision was made in response to Transport Minister Suriya Juangruangreangkit’s recent call for reduced airfare during celebratory periods to address the issue of high-priced domestic flight tickets.

On February 28, CAAT conducted a meeting with representatives from six airlines: Thai Airways, Thai AirAsia, Bangkok Airways, Thai LionAir, NokAir, and Thai Vietjet. The main topic of discussion was the steep cost of air travel. As a result, these airlines agreed to operate 104 additional flights, providing an extra 17,874 seats on April 11, 12, 15, and 16. The destinations include Phuket, Chiang Mai, Samui, Ubon Ratchathani, Udon Thani, and Khon Kaen, said Sarun.

“Many of these flights will operate outside normal flight hours, either in the early morning or late at night, and so the fares will be lowered to attract travellers.”

Sarun added that the discount would be around 20% and be offered as an economical choice for Songkran travel.

He further stated that the airlines have already submitted their requests to operate the extra flights to the CAAT, with bookings for these additional seats expected to start today, March 12.

The deputy director-general advised travellers to plan their trips and make bookings several weeks in advance to ensure availability and affordable prices. They should also book through the airlines’ websites as they are regulated and monitored by the CAAT, which sets a cap on prices for each route.

The Transport Ministry predicts that around 15.45 million people will utilise public transport from April 11-17 this year, with interprovincial buses anticipated to be the preferred mode of transport for those travelling to the provinces.

Suriya stated that he has instructed relevant agencies to make preparations for the upcoming holiday to ensure travel is safe and convenient. He also emphasised the need to implement measures to reduce road accidents.

Holiday preparations 

During the holiday period, tolls on certain expressways will be waived for motorists. This includes the eastern motorway (Highway 7), Kanchanapisek Road (Highway 9), the Buraphawithee Expressway (Bang Na-Chon Buri) and the Kanchanaphiske Expressway (Bang Phli-Suksawat). Additionally, three expressways – Srirat, Udon Ratthaya and Chalerm Maha Nakhon – will be free of charge from April 13-15.

Transport Co., which operates interprovincial bus services, is preparing to handle a large influx of passengers during the holiday period. The company plans to arrange approximately 4,200 trips for April 9-11 and 4,000 trips for April 15-17. They have also requested permission from the Department of Land Transport to use an additional 900 buses to accommodate travellers.

In related news, the Department of Labour Welfare and Protection is encouraging the private sector to offer April 12 as an additional day off for their employees. This comes after the Cabinet recently declared April 12 a special government holiday, ensuring a five-day weekend for the Songkran festival. Employers are also being reminded to comply with labour protection laws when requiring their workers to work on their days off.

Lastly, the Cabinet has approved a budget of 104 million baht for organising the extended Maha Songkran World Water Festival. The goal is to attract over 200,000 visitors and generate 3.125 billion baht in revenue, reported Bangkok Post.

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Author: Mitch Connor