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Flights to Thailand from China almost full amid visa waivers, Thai Airways says

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Flights from China to Thailand almost full amid visa waivers, Thai Airways says

The airline says it’s seen ‘significant growth in terms of Chinese traffic’ since visa rules for visitors from China were temporarily relaxedTourism-dependent Thailand is banking on Chinese visitors to lead a spending recovery as it tweaks policies and adds new airport infrastructureThailandBloombergPublished: 2:02pm, 2 Oct, 2023Why you can trust SCMP

Flights from China to Thailand have been more than 90 per cent full, Thai Airways International Pcl says, after Southeast Asia’s second-largest economy temporarily relaxed visa rules for visitors.

“We have seen significant growth in terms of Chinese traffic into Thailand,” the carrier’s Chief Commercial Officer Korakot Chatasingha said in an interview on Monday.

Thailand is banking on Chinese visitors to lead a spending recovery as policy tweaks and new airport infrastructure bolster the tourism-dependent nation. Bangkok’s busiest airport just last week opened a new terminal.

02:29

Thailand rolls out red carpet for Chinese tourists on visa-free scheme

Thailand rolls out red carpet for Chinese tourists on visa-free scheme

Thai Airways, which is going through a debt restructuring after Covid, said last month it plans to increase its flights to five Chinese cities to 56 a week, up from 49, starting from December 1.

Chinese tourists from September 25 to February 29 can enjoy visa-free entry to Thailand as the popular holiday destination seeks to boost flagging tourist numbers from Asia’s biggest economy. Eight months into 2023, arrivals from China are only about 50 per cent of pre-pandemic volumes, Korakot said.

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