Last week we wrote about some optimistic news for Thai Airways. The airline appeared ready to resume international flights beginning on August 1st. Sadly, it looks like this will not be the case. Thai Airways just pulled all international flights from its schedule through August 31st; international flights are now scheduled to resume on September 1st.
Last month, the Thai government extended the kingdom’s state of emergency until July 31st. Thailand remains closed to international tourists, and there is no sign of when these restrictions will ease up. Thai Airways’ decision to ground international flights until September suggests that we won’t see tourists in Thailand for quite a while.
Tourism is critical for Thailand; the tourism sector accounted for 20% of the country’s GDP in 2019. Only 14 to 16 million tourists are expected to visit Thailand this year, compared to nearly 40 million tourists in 2019.