Thai Airways eyes Melbourne-Bangkok flights by April 2022

Melbourne will be the second Australian city to reconnect to Bangkok.

By David Flynn, October 19 2021
Thai Airways eyes Melbourne-Bangkok flights by April 2022

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.

05 Oct 2017

Total posts 501

I wonder why the Bangkok stopover was replaced by Singapore back in 2012. Bangkok is certainly more fun as a stopover than Singapore and for business purposes, there has long been an over supply of Singapore flights.

05 Oct 2017

Total posts 501

Certainly a very positive development. Let's keep the reopening momentum going.

Just read in the Bangkok Post that Myanmar is considering opening up from January 2022 as well, with talk of travel (including overland access) being allowed initially from Thailand as part of a "neighboring country bubble" followed by Laos, Cambodia and Vietnam soon thereafter, and then probably other countries by the 2nd quarter.

Vietnam is also reopening, starting with Phu Quoc in November 2021, but under far more restrictive conditions than the Phuket sandbox in Thailand. However, after reopening other parts of the country between December and April 2022, Vietnam expects to fully reopen the entire country by June 2022. Cambodia is also about to reopen soon, including possibly establishing a border bubble with Thailand, permitting cross border travel between Trat province and Cambodia's Koh Kong before the end of the year. Finally, Bali and Singapore are slowly reopening too. That leaves only China, which hasn't announced any specific plans and continues with it's draconian zero Covid strategy.

Things are finally starting to look positive on the travel front, even in East Asia, after exactly 19 months of border closures.

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