Transport minister slashes prices with 38 more domestic flightsLegacy

Amid escalating complaints over skyrocketing airfare prices, Transport Minister Suriya Juangroongruangkit announced an additional 38 domestic flights and an estimated 13,000 seats for the upcoming Songkran holiday season in April.

Suriya asserted that this measure is just one of the short-term solutions being devised to combat the escalating airfare predicament.

“We’re taking decisive action to address the concerns raised by citizens on social media.”

The directive issued to the Civil Aviation Authority of Thailand (CAAT) mandates collaborative efforts with airlines and pertinent state bodies to devise a comprehensive strategy. This includes a contingency plan to manage the influx of holiday travellers while ensuring convenience for both local and international tourists, a priority echoed by Prime Minister Srettha Thavisin.

In a concerted effort, CAAT recently convened a pivotal meeting with six domestic airlines, culminating in a raft of measures to mitigate the impact of soaring ticket prices. Among these initiatives is the proposal to bolster flight frequencies during peak periods, notably the Songkran festival, alongside targeted fare reductions.

The comprehensive plan encompasses 38 additional flights slated for April 11 to 12 and 15 to 16, servicing key regional airports such as Chiang Mai, Phuket, and Krabi. Strategically scheduled during off-peak hours, these flights aim to offer more affordable options to passengers, reported The Nation.

In tandem with increased flight operations, Suriya has tasked relevant authorities with extending operating hours and deploying additional personnel to accommodate the influx of flights and passengers.

Six Thai airlines have asked for authorisation to expand domestic flight operations during peak holiday periods, responding to widespread public fury over exorbitant airfares. Representatives from Thai Airways International, Bangkok Airways, Thai AirAsia, Thai Lion Air, Nok Air, and Thai VietJet convened with the Civil Aviation Authority of Thailand (CAAT) on February 20 to delve into strategies for curbing fare hikes.

In related news, the soaring cost of air travel to Phuket has sparked a backlash from local tourists, with low-cost carriers reportedly charging up to 14,000 baht for a round trip from Bangkok. Despite making bookings weeks in advance, some travellers reported paying 5,000 baht for a one-way ticket.

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Author: Puntid Tantivangphaisal