Thailand to fast-track aircraft additions to tame soaring air fares
The Civil Aviation Authority of Thailand is in process of approving requests by local airlines of Lion Air, VietJet Air JSC and Thai AirAsia to add more jets
Thailand’s civil aviation regulator will accelerate approvals for airlines seeking to add planes to boost capacity and cool air fares that have soared in recent months with a rapid recovery in tourism, according to government spokesman Anucha Burapachaisri.
Prime Minister Prayuth Chan-Ocha has ordered the transport ministry to supervise domestic air fares and ensure travelers were not overcharged, Anucha said in a statement on Saturday. Ticket prices soared as domestic passenger volume jumped 85% in the first quarter from a year earlier, while international traffic surged about 54% and airlines were unable to expand their fleets, Anucha said.
The government will help carriers increase the number of seats on both domestic and international routes in line with market demand, which may also allow them to reduce ticket prices, Anucha said.
The Civil Aviation Authority of Thailand is in the process of approving requests by the local units of Lion Air, VietJet Air JSC and Thai AirAsia to add more jets to their fleets, Anucha said. Thai Airways International Pcl has sought permission to operate six more aircraft, he said.
The aviation regulator will monitor air fares and hold regular meetings with airlines to ensure reasonable ticket prices, Anucha said, urging people to book their tickets in advance to avoid paying exorbitant prices.
Thailand has seen a better-than-expected recovery in foreign tourists this year with the Southeast Asian nation forecasting full-year arrivals to total about 30 million, more than double the 11.2 million last year. That has sent prices of hotel rooms, air tickets and food soaring, prompting authorities to caution operators against overcharging visitors.