This move comes as Thailand ramps up domestic travel restrictions, with some provinces requiring two-week quarantines for travelers from Bangkok.
Thai AirAsia’s domestic commercial operations have been halted for 20 days in response to falling passenger numbers and a coronavirus surge driven by the highly infectious Alpha and Delta variants. In line with the latest partial lockdown in Bangkok and the surrounding provinces, the airline has imposed a “temporary hibernation” of all scheduled passenger flights, grounding its aircraft until the end of the month to support government efforts to contain Thailand’s growing Covid-19 outbreak.
Customers affected by flight cancellations will receive an email or SMS detailing the next available options. Guests can use the AI chatbot AVA on support.airasia.com to reschedule their trips to a later date or retain the value of their tickets in a credit account. Free flight changes can be made as many times as required, with fare differences waived and no rebooking fees for travel up until September 30, 2021. Given the ongoing uncertainty of the situation, Thai AirAsia customers who are scheduled to travel between August 1, 2021 and March 26, 2022 will also be eligible for unlimited free flight changes, although fare differences may still apply.
In a statement, a spokesperson from the low-cost carrier said, “AirAsia always places the safety and wellbeing of its guests and employees as its top priority. We will continue to monitor the situation closely and will be prepared to reinstate our scheduled flight services again as soon as possible.”
Recent weeks have seen the numbers of Covid-19 infections spiking across Southeast Asia, Indonesia, Malaysia, Thailand, and Vietnam all logging record daily highs for new cases. Thai AirAsia’s hibernation was announced a few days after AirAsia Indonesia suspended all commercial operations for a month until August 6. AirAsia Indonesia customers can either reschedule their flights at no extra cost (so long as travel is completed on October 31, 2021), convert their flight booking into credit available for the next two years, or ask for a refund.
More information here.