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Domestic-Flights within Thailand


semi-retired member

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semi-retired member

I flew down yesterday, from CNX Chiang-Mai to BKK Suvarnabhumi, with Thai-Smile  ...  en-route to Pattaya from my second-visit since the serious shut-down began several months ago, and thought it might interest/encourage some BMs overseas to hear how the recovery is going over here ?

Chiang Mai Airport was quite busy, most domestic-flights are now running again, although for-how-long is the question  ...  airline finances being as rocky ass they are.  As an example, we used last-year to see at-least 60-flights-per-day each-way, between Bangkok and Chiang-Mai, I'd say that's now back up to 45-50 which is pretty good ! 

No Thai-International domestic-flights of-course, but I had been able to rebook an old (June) ticket at-no-charge onto 100%-TG-owned-subsidiary Thai-Smile, to use it up.  Bangkok Airways are only doing 2-3 per-day now, compared to several-per-day beforehand, but they always seemed to get a lot of foreign-tourists' local-travel previously.

Most of the other LCCs are back to close-to-normal operations for now, perhaps fewer late-evening heavily-discounted ones, but you can now fly direct again, from Chiang-Mai to about 10 other domestic airports !  Direct-flights on PG to Samui not restarted, and fewer to HKT-Phuket, but a LOT of Thai-travellers (tourists or VFR ?), and our domestic-terminal was fairly busy, which I'd say is encouraging.

My own flight was about 70% full, I was a bit surprised since they had also had another one CNX-BKK, only an hour earlier  ...  however they had cancelled a later lunch-time one which I had originally selected.  We had a coffee/tea/soft-drinks service with a hot-noodle mini-snack too !  Boarding went smoothly, people seemed to have less carry-on luggage than usual, maybe due to the 20kg hold-baggage allowance ?  Almost everyone wore a mask, most maintained social-distancing, we left on-time and arrived 15-minutes early (less-busy airspace ?), luggage was delivered quickly and there were two other flights on our conveyor  ...  Swampy was noticeably busier than my previous trip in July on Thai-Vietjet.

Luckily the taxi-lady from Nam-Taxis had got there early, I was her first customer for several days, and she hadn't had anybody on the trip up from Pattaya, but she was still glad of the business (and the tip !).  She said she was two-months-behind now, on her car-loan from the bank, and was living-cheaply having moved to a smaller/cheaper room.  Just a sign of the adapting to the hard-times, I guess.

Obviously international-flights must still be a shit-show, but I thought people might be interested to hear that domestic-travel is resuming quite-well, the problem will be whether this is loss-making (probably) and how long they can sustain it ?  My return-trip, in three-weeks' time, was booked a month ago for B1200 all-in, also on Thai-Smile  ...  I hope they survive the mega-problems of their parent-company, but am not especially optimistic, unless someone has a spare $10-billion-plus to invest in an airline, in times like this ? :rolleyes:

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semi-retired member

Yes, window & aisle seats were all used, with most middle-seats left empty, except for a few families seated together.

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Thank you for your reply, good to know they're taking such precautions

 

I've used Thai Smile several times over the last 3-4 years, and found them to be very good. Flying into BKK also has it advantages too, for onward international flights & cheap rail transport into the city itself

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It will be better if/when there is a direct rail-connection, between DMK and BKK, something which is long-overdue !  :Hair_Out1: 

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  • 1 month later...
semi-retired member

UPDATE :

As the dreaded-lurgy continues to spread within Thailand, some domestic-flights by LCCs are being cancelled, with passengers being consolidated onto other flights.

From Chiang Mai, this has been happening with Thai-Smile, Thai Viet-Jet, Thai-Lion, Nok-Air, mainly down to Bangkok (BKK and DMK) so far. 

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semi-retired member

The dreaded-lurgy lockdowns are really biting now, going by today's departures from Chiang Mai, it's like two/thirds of domestic-flights previously-scheduled are now being cancelled. :sad:

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