Thai Airways Resumes Mini-Schedule To Chiang Mai & Phuket, Cancels New Year Celebration Flight

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Thai Airways has started to operate a few regular scheduled domestic flights with their mainline again and will from this week fly in irregular periods between Bangkok and Phuket / Chiang Mai again.

Despite the original schedule supposedly being valid until February 28th the only weekend where these fights have been tabled is this three day holiday weekend 1/2/3 January.

At the same time an originally planned New Years Event Flight that was supposed to take off today has been cancelled due to concerns of Covid-19 in recent weeks, just like a “Winter Fest” at the Thai Corporate HQ.

Thai Airways mainline fleet has been de facto grounded for the last twelve months with the exception of some special assignments to repatriate Thai nationals from overseas.

The Bangkok Post reported last week that Thai would be flying domestically again and that on a regular basis, however apart from this weekend I wasn’t able to find any TG metal flights.

Thai Airways will resume domestic flights between Bangkok and Chiang Mai and Bangkok and Phuket from Dec 25 after suspending them for almost nine months because of Covid-19.

The last time the national carrier flew from the capital to the two tourist provinces was April 1.

There will be three flights a week — on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays — on both routes and the new schedules will run until Feb 28, the source said.

Well whoever the source is either the person didn’t know all the details or TG has culled the schedule again.

There are however three flights for this weekend to each Chiang Mai as well as Phuket.

  • TG205 Bangkok-Phuket vv departing 12:05pm on Friday/Saturday/Sunday
  • TG108 Bangkok-Chiang vv Mai departing 12:10pm on Friday/Saturday Sunday

Pricing for these flights start at 1,400 Baht in Economy Class, the cheapest I found for Business Class was 5,090 Baht one way.

Keep in mind that as I reported yesterday the authorities have currently (once again) banned all F&B from the flights due to concers about the Coronavirus. Buying Business Class could be helping with social distancing though. Definitely better than a tightly packed Airbus A319.

Existing vouchers and miles can be used for these flights as well.

According to an announcement on the Thai website the new years flight has been cancelled for today as well.

Bangkok Metropolitan Administration has issued new preventative measures to curb the latest spread of COVID-19 by asking both public and private sectors to refrain from organising events with large gatherings. As a result, it is compulsory for Thai Airways International Public Company Limited (THAI) to cancel the ‘TG Winter Fest’ planned on 23-26 December 2020 at THAI Headquarter on Vibhavadi-Rangsit Road, including the ‘New Year Celebrations Flight’ scheduled on 1 January 2021. THAI apologises for any inconvenience this decision has caused, and appreciate your understanding. THAI is grateful for the received public interest, and we look forward to arranging other activities when the situation resolves.

THAI’s domestic services from Bangkok to Chiang Mai and Phuket start from 1 January 2021, will operate as planned. The flights will be operated with our ‘Hygiene Excellence’ practice – a stringent health and hygiene standard under the COVID-19 preventive measures recommended by the Ministry of Public Health, the Center for COVID-19 Situation Administration (CCSA) and the Civil Aviation Authority of Thailand (CAAT). THAI closely monitors the COVID-19 situation and may adjust operations and services accordingly. Passengers are advised to routinely check for updates on our website at thaiairways.com or through our official social media channels.

Well as I mentioned I searched the schedule extensively and wasn’t able to find any other flights than today, tomorrow and Sunday.

I wonder how full these flights will be as they are operated by a Boeing 777 and just went on sale last week. I bet they are almost completely empty.

Big advantage: As a TG flight one can enjoy Star Alliance Gold benefits again that don’t apply when using Thai Smile. I’m tempted to fly to Phuket on Sunday.

Conclusion

It seems like THAI tries to ready themselves to operate again at least on a domestic basis. It’s a rather unfortunate timing though with this current Covid scare in Thailand that might see flights and public life halted again in the coming weeks.

I wish Thai would allow Star Alliance Gold benefits to be used on Thai Smile, at least when booking a TG codeshare. It’s very inconvenient to fly without status. At least I can use the domestic lounges of Bangkok Airways with my Priority Pass.

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