MIAMI – On October 25, EVA Air (BR) restarted passenger service from its hub at Taoyuan Airport (TPE) in Taipei, Republic of China to Thailand, Bangkok’s Suvarnabhumi’s Airport (BKK). This marks the first publicly-available passenger flights between the two countries since the COVID-19 pandemic began.
This “new” service comes on the heels of the introduction of Thailand’s new 90-Day Special Tourist Visa. This allows travelers from “low-risk” Asian nations to travel to Thailand.
Passengers must commit to spending at least 30 days in Thailand, with the first 14 days under quarantine in an approved hotel. They must also take pre-departure and post-arrival COVID tests, download a contact-tracing/tracking app on their phones, and have specific medical insurance.
EVA Air will be operating flights three per week (Tuesdays, Fridays and Sundays), operated by a Boeing 777-300ER, configured with 39 seats in Royal Laurel Class, 56 in Premium Economy Class, and 238 in Economy Class. However, it is unlikely that the aircraft will be full given the current demand.
China Airlines, Thai Airways, Thai Lion Air, Tigerair Taiwan and NokScoot
China Airlines (CI) announced that it will operate twice weekly passenger flights from TPE to BKK, beginning November 8. It will operate on Wednesday using an A330-300 and on Sunday using an A350-900. Thai Airways (TG) also flies between TPE and BKK, but they haven’t announced their plans to resume.
Thai Lion Air (SL) and Tigerair Taiwan (IT) fly between TPE and Bangkok’s Don Mueang Airport, but they have not announced resumption plans either. NokScoot (XW) was flying between TPE and Don Mueang, but the airline closed its doors in June as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.
In 2019, almost 2,400,000 passengers flew between Taipei and Bangkok corridor, but of course, travel has significantly decreased this year. Cargo flights between these cities remain plentiful, but the resumption of passenger service is a “step in the right direction” and will hopefully lead to a greater increase in service worldwide.
Featured image: China Airlines B777-300ER taxies in front of EVA Air B777-300ER at the gate (Credit: Luca Flores)