Thailand in talks with China, Laos on opening new air routes

By VNA   March 30, 2024 | 03:00 pm PT
Thailand in talks with China, Laos on opening new air routes
Thai Airways' aircraft at Suvarnabhumi Airport in Bangkok, March 2020. Photo by AFP
Thailand is discussing with China and Laos about a plan to open new air routes to help ease congestion in the current flight path set by the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO).

After the three countries agree on the new aviation routes between Thailand and China via Laos, they will seek approval from the ICAO, Aeronautical Radio of Thailand Co Ltd (Aerothai) president Nopasit Chakpitak said on March 29.

Chakpitak said the routes may be opened in early 2026 after meeting the ICAO’s safety requirements.

According to him, Asia’s airline industry has seen signs of rapid expansion, especially in China and India, following purchase orders for more than 1,000 aircraft. Aerothai, a state enterprise under the Ministry of Transport, has accordingly seen the need to increase airspace capabilities to cope with the expected expansion.

He shared that the planned parallel routes between Thailand and China will accommodate flights between the northern Thai provinces of Chiang Mai and Chiang Rai and major Chinese cities like Kunming, Guiyang, Chengdu, Tianfu, Chongqing, and Xian.

Aerothai forecast that there will be more than 900,000 flights to Thailand this year compared to 800,000 in 2023. The figure is expected to reach 1 million in 2025, equal to the pre-pandemic level.

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