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Thai Lion Air cancels flights

THAILAND: Thai Lion Air (TLA) has become the first low-cost carrier in Thailand to raise the white flag by deciding to suspend operations on all routes after being hit hard by the coronavirus pandemic.

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By Bangkok Post

Saturday 21 March 2020, 10:52AM


The airline stops operations on Wednesday (Mar 25) and is expected to resume services on May 1. Photo: Bangkok Post

The airline stops operations on Wednesday (Mar 25) and is expected to resume services on May 1. Photo: Bangkok Post

All of TLA’s 17 aircraft will be grounded for over a month after it stops operations on Wednesday (Mar 25). The airline is expecting to resume services on May 1.

Passengers who had booked flights between March 25 to April 30 have been offered the option to reschedule, avail credits for later travel, or a full refund.

In the announcement by the airline and a statement sent to the Civil Aviation Authority of Thailand (CAAT) yesterday, the airline announced that all TLA routes, both domestic and international, will be temporarily suspended.

The airline is suffering from reduced demand, according to one of its executives, especially after its Chinese market was severely hit. The airline was already suffering and reducing operations before the pandemic.

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TLA serves 13 domestic and 30 international routes, including China and India. Another blow which has pushed the airline to stop services is the government’s decision to postpone Songkran.

The source added that TLA still had around 40% of flights booked during the holiday period, however, since there is no Songkran now, it is now receiving even more cancellation requests.

There has also been a rise in the number of no-show passengers which shows that people have lost confidence in travel. With the possibility of a lockdown looming, TLA decided to stop its services and operations as the cost of operation has become a burden, especially with reduced income.

An executive from the aviation industry who asked not to be named also complained about insufficient aid measures for all airlines.

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