Thai Airways is seeing a slow recovery after border reopenings – part two

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Thailand’s government has taken some major border reopening steps since the second quarter of 2022. Although these have helped bump up Thai Airways’ international capacity, the airline’s recovery curve shows only a gradual increase.

Part one of this analysis examined the correlation between Thai Airways’ international capacity growth and the phased easing of the country’s COVID-19 border measures. The most recent reopening step on 1-Jul-2022 removed most remaining entry restrictions, although Thai Airways’ international seat capacity is still at 39% of 2019 levels.

A major factor in the slow recovery is travel constraints in some of Thailand’s major visitor markets, such as mainland China, Hong Kong and Taiwan.

China is the most important, as it was Thailand’s top source of tourists before the pandemic. It was also Thai Airways’ largest overseas market. Although competition for China-Thailand traffic was fierce, the resumption of these flows will help the airline’s recovery.

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