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Saturday 9 January 2021

Airlines under pressure from new Covid outbreaks

Airlines around the globe are continuing to feel the effects of the ongoing Covid-19 virus with Thai regional carrier Bangkok Airways the latest to cut flights.

A new wave of Covid-19 infections and lockdowns across Thailand has forced Bangkok Airways to cut back on services and close its airport lounges, all of which are shut until the end of January, along with service kiosks.

Bangkok Airways has also suspended routes linking the Thai capital with Sukhothai and Trat with immediate effect until the end of the month, Travel Mole reports.

It is also pushing back the launch of new routes.

Bangkok to Hat Yai will now be introduced on April 1, while the new Bangkok to Khon Kaen and Mae Sot routes will begin on May 1 and June 1 respectively, the airline announced.

The launch of all three routes was already pushed back from November and December 2020.

In addition, the airline says it is reducing frequencies on several established routes until the end of February.

These include Bangkok services to Koh Samui, Lampang and Chiang Mai.

Covid cases have surged in Thailand since late December and the Asian nation has now recorded nearly 10,000 cases in total.

Authorities say many cases have been linked in recent days to cockfighting and illegal gambling houses, with officials urging the public to stay away from them.

Bangkok Airways has been flying for over 50 years to destinations in Thailand, Cambodia, Hong Kong, China, India, Laos, Malysia, Singapore, Maldives, Myanmar and Vietnam.

In Europe, Ryanair has said it may cut all flights from the UK and Ireland from the end of January as it blasted governments in both countries for their "draconian" approach to Covid.

Another budget carrier, EasyJet,  has confirmed it is axing flights from the end of this week, after which it will operate only a small handful of key domestic and international routes.

British Airways, meanwhile, has cancelled its holiday bookings over the next few weeks after initially continuing to sell package deals despite the national lockdown.


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