ASIA NEWS NETWORK
WE KNOW ASIA BETTER
More S'pore-Bkk flights axed as travellers shun city
Publication Date : 24-01-2014
Fewer flights are being operated between Singapore and Bangkok as more travellers continue to shun the volatile Thai capital.
Singapore Airlines (SIA) has confirmed a second round of cuts to its flights to Bangkok, while budget carrier Tigerair axed its first flights on Monday.
Travel agents foresee more cancellations in the coming weeks as the city went into a 60-day state of emergency from Thursday.
SIA spokesman Nicholas Ionides said that in view of the current situation, the airline will cut another 24 flights to Bangkok from now until Feb 27.
This is on top of a previously announced reduction of 19 flights.
SIA, which usually flies five times a day to Bangkok, will put affected customers on other flights or give them a refund, he said.
Tigerair is cutting six flights in the week to Monday, a spokesman said.
Affected customers and those who bought their tickets on or before January 10 for travel to Bangkok from now until February 10 will be spared the usual charges for flight changes.
But they will have to pay the fare difference, if any, for new travel dates or destinations.
Budget carriers AirAsia, Jetstar and Scoot said they have not axed services but are monitoring the situation in Bangkok.
A Jetstar spokesman said the airline will waive the usual fees for flight changes, subject to certain conditions being met, for travellers who do not wish to continue with their flight plans.
Scoot will not waive the fees.
Said its chief executive officer Campbell Wilson: "Singapore's Ministry of Foreign Affairs has not changed its travel guidance for Bangkok, which continues to advise visitors to stay away from large crowds and demonstrations and monitor local news and developments closely, but does not recommend against travelling to Bangkok."
Urging Singaporeans to stay alert, the ministry, which updated its website advisory on Thursday, noted that demonstrations which are meant to be peaceful "can turn confrontational, and escalate into violence without warning".
Singaporeans visiting Bangkok are encouraged to pre-register with the ministry and contact the Singapore embassy in Bangkok should they need assistance.
Chan Brothers Travel has had several cancellations for bookings to Bangkok but not everyone is staying away, said its spokesman Michelle Yin.
She said: "We know people who have just returned from Bangkok claiming that they did not feel any tension from the protests while they were there."
Dynasty Travel's director for marketing communications Alicia Seah said that since last month, about six in 10 Bangkok-bound customers have either postponed their trips or gone elsewhere.
She said: "We hope normalcy will return by mid-February so that there is no impact on demand during the March school holidays."