Thailand: ‘Travel bubbles’ plan tipped to be put on ice

  • Travel bubbles are likely to be delayed after several countries eyed for the scheme have seen a resurgence of Covid-19 cases, according to the Civil Aviation Authority of Thailand (CAAT).
  • CAAT director-general Chula Sukmanop said even though talks about travel bubble arrangements are being thrashed out with countries including China, Japan and South Korea, the scheme will be put on hold due to a spike in infections. He said Thailand will be closely monitoring the Covid-19 situation in Jul 20.
  • The government has come up with a plan to launch travel bubbles with several countries with low coronavirus risk and initially the arrangements were to be adopted with the first group of international leisure travellers in Aug 20 at the earliest.
  • Mr Chula said that local tourism is vital to rebuilding the country’s aviation industry and noted that demand for domestic travel is picking up after airlines resume operations and business operators launch promotional campaigns to boost travel.
  • Transport Minister Saksayam Chidchob said on 7 Jul 20 that public safety is the top priority for the government as it considers reopening the country to international travellers.
  • Mr Saksayam called on airlines to wait for a clear policy from the government and the CAAT when asked about reports about airlines preparing to resume international flights in Sep 20.

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