Thai Airways to suspend flights
Thai Airways had announced yesterday that it was going to suspend all its flights temporarily due to the spread of coronavirus on a global scale which has resulted in countries imposing strict travel restrictions which in turn has reduced travel demand.
Details of temporary suspension
Thai Airways in a statement had said they are going to temporarily suspend flights due to the outbreak of coronavirus. Before this suspension of its flights it had already temporarily canceled flights to Sendai, Sapporo, Fukuoka, Busan, Manila, Kuala Lumpur, Rome, Milan, Vienna, New Delhi, Mumbai, Kolkata, Chennai, Bengaluru, Hyderabad, Muscat, Dubai, and Auckland.
In addition to this starting March 25th it would be suspending services to Hong Kong, Taipei, Tokyo (Narita and Haneda), Osaka, Nagoya, Seoul, Phnom Penh, Vientiane, Ho Chi Minh, Hanoi, Yangon, Singapore, Jakarta, Denpasar, Kunming, Xiamen, Chengdu, Beijing, Shanghai, Guangzhou, Karachi, Kathmandu, Lahore, Dhaka, Islamabad, and Colombo.
Starting March 27th it would suspend its flight to Australia where it connects Brisbane, Sydney, Melbourne, and Perth. A few days later it would suspend most of its service to Europe where it connects London, Frankfurt, Paris, Brussels, Copenhagen, Oslo, Moscow and Stockholm. In its statement Thai had not mentioned cancellation of its flights to Zurich and Munich.
The company said it will continue to operate cargo and emergency services. This suspension of flights comes at a time when Thai Airways is already struggling with mounting debts and had recently announced a loss of over 12 billion Bhat.
State of emergency in Thailand
The Thai Prime Minister had announced today a state of emergency will begin starting tonight. This would ban any foreigner from entering the country. This ban is set to remain until April. This announcement also added Thai citizens can come home and others with special permission from the Prime Minister.
What does the future hold for Thai Airways ?
With airlines and countries imposing travel bans and restrictions, there was no other option for Thai Airways to continue international operations. A fact to rememberer is that Thai Airways operates only long haul aircrafts in A330,A350,A380,B747,B777 and B787 while only its subsidiary operates narrow bodies A320 aircraft. This would mean more fuel costs, maintenance costs and more passengers to fill.
The overall demand for travel has plummeted as most countries have imposed lockdown and suspended air travel barring cargo and emergency services. Nothing seems concrete but with mounting losses and coronavirus adding on to it it definitely seems an uphill battle when the industry restarts once again.