Thai Airways plans to pick up flights between Melbourne and Bangkok by April 2022, if not sooner.
The Star Alliance member is tipped to assign either an Airbus A350 or Boeing 777-300ER to the 9h30m journey, although these are all expected to be direct flights, without any of the Phuket stopovers scheduled for the restart of Sydney flights across November-December 2021.
Thai Airways remains hopeful of seeing Australia added to the initial list of up to ten low-risk countries from which Thailand will welcome vaccinated visitors without quarantine from November 1 – the first five, announced earlier this month, are Singapore, Germany, China, the US and the UK.
More countries will become eligible for the quarantine waiver from December, with Prime Minister Prayuth Chan-Ocha promising that by January 1 the nation "would move to a very extensive list."
Bangkok has long been a popular destination for Australians, as well as a gateway to exploring the rest of Thailand, and until March 2012 was also the stopover for Qantas' flagship QF1 service to London, before it was replaced by Singapore.
For its part, Qantas has listed March 27 for the recommencement of its daily Airbus A330 Sydney-Bangkok flights, alongside the return of other services to Asia including Bali/Denpasar, Jakarta and Manila.
Thailand's is eager to revive its tourism-reliant economy and push ahead with a "living with Covid-19" strategy.
The country saw foreign tourist arrivals plunge to 73,932 in the first eight months of this year, from almost 40 million visitors who generated more than US$60 billion in revenue in 2019.