CAAT orders ban on domestic flights in Thailand to and from maximum control areas, including Bangkok, leaving some stranded and some airlines temporarily suspending flights

Bangkok, Thailand-

  Earlier this evening the Civil Aviation Authority of Thailand, or CAAT, ordered a ban on domestic flights in Thailand to and from dark red areas, with a few exceptions. As this includes Bangkok and Chonburi and the major airports in these areas where most domestic airlines are based, many have suspended flights entirely.

The ban does not officially start until Wednesday, July 21st.

There are some exceptions, such as emergency landings, medical flights, and flights in connection with Sandbox programs like Phuket. However, the surprise ruling has still reportedly left some people, including in Phuket and Koh Samui, stranded as they were planning to take flights after their Sandbox program to other parts of Thailand, and now those are suspended in maximum control (dark red zones) like Bangkok and Chonburi, home of Pattaya.

Domestic flights in other areas can still fly, but only at 50% capacity, which has also reportedly led to some canceled flights.

The order is until further notice, without an expiration date. This is ONLY domestic flights at this time and does not affect international flights coming in for people planning to take part in the Sandbox program or quarantine.

TPN media would advise those with concerns about their flights to contact their airlines directly.

Some airlines, like Thai Vietjet, have already announced the suspension of ALL domestic flights until at least August 1st, as you can see below. Many others are being elusive and not giving concrete statements on their plans at this time. Bangkok Airways appears to have canceled most flights except Phuket/Samui Sandbox-related flights until at least August.

Once again, those with questions should refer directly to their airlines. The restriction is part of Thailand’s plan to severely limit domestic travel currently to help control the Covid-19 situation in Thailand. Further restrictions on other public transportation, like buses and trains, are also widely expected, notes TPN media.

The overall message from the Thai government, especially for those in “maximum control zones” currently is DO NOT TRAVEL unless it is a medical emergency, going to vaccinate, etc.

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