BANGKOK 22 December 2022: Thai AirAsia estimates it will close the year with 10 million passengers flown, backed by the strong demand for domestic and international travel, especially in the fourth quarter.
The airline experienced its highest post-Covid aircraft utilisation rate of 12 hours in November, while the average load factor for the year could be as high as 81% with an on-time performance of 90%.
Confident tourism and aviation will fully recover in 2023; Thai AirAsia readies to return to near pre-Covid-19 operational levels based on robust domestic traffic and signs indicating a steady recovery of the international market. However, a question mark hangs over China which has still to reopen its skies fully and allow outbound leisure travel without any restrictions. There is considerable optimism China will ease outbound travel rules during the first quarter of 2023.
AirAsia Thailand chief executive officer Santisuk Klongchaiya said: “We predict the tourism industry in 2023 will return to conditions before the Covid-19 pandemic in line with a Tourism Authority of Thailand’s evaluation that 18 to 30 million tourists will visit Thailand next year.”
He claimed the Chinese government may scale back travel limitations during the first quarter of 2023 and consider a quota for inbound flights. It should present a positive opportunity for Thailand’s tourism.
“Thai AirAsia is ready to immediately serve flights to China with our large fleet of 53 aircraft… We expect to carry 20 million guests next year, double that of this year’s 10 million and a huge jump from 2.9 million in 2021.”
In 2023, the airline plans more routes to high-potential markets such as Nepal and Pakistan. It will add more cities in India to its network and forecasts no less than 90% pre-Covid-19 capacity.