Thai AirAsia Resumes Flights to Mainland China

Scheduled passenger services between Bangkok and Macau will also be reinstated in mid-February.

The shores of Hangzhou’s UNESCO-listed West Lake after dark. (Photo: Liu Hyory/Unsplash)

AirAsia’s Thai subsidiary is reentering the Chinese market in a big way, with the restart of direct flights from Bangkok Don Mueang to no less than eight destinations over the coming weeks. The budget carrier has been preparing for the return of Chinese tourists to Thailand after a Covid-induced absence of nearly three years: cabin crew are now undergoing refresher training courses and the 10 remaining inactive jets of its fleet (out of a total of 53) will be brought back to service to operate routes between Thailand and China.

Thai AirAsia flights took off today (January 26) from Don Mueang to Hangzhou and Shenzhen; these will initially be flown on a weekly basis. Then on February 15, four-times-weekly services to Chongqing, Guangzhou, and Kunming will resume. This will be followed three days later with the relaunch of twice-weekly flights to Macau, and the carrier is set to operate weekly flights to Nanjing from February 24.

March 2 will see the resumption of daily services between Bangkok and Changsha. In line with the surging demand for round-trip travel to China, frequencies on Thai AirAsia’s existing Don Mueang–Hong Kong route will go daily on March 1, up from the current count of four flights per week. The airline also plans to gradually increase the number of flights across the aforementioned routes in March, and expects passenger volumes from China to return to pre-pandemic levels by the end of the year.

Although China has ended mandatory quarantines for international arrivals, leisure travel is not yet open to those with a tourist visa. Entry is still restricted to foreigners traveling for business, work, study, and family visits; travelers must show a negative result from a PCR test taken within 48 hours of departure and fill out a health declaration form. Thai tourists can freely visit Macau so long as they are cleared through a PCR test before boarding.

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