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Southern MPs complain about expensive air tickets to coastal provinces

Written by World Events

Southern MPs of Bhumjaithai party have been airing their grievances over the high cost of domestic flights to the Andaman coastal provinces, such as Phuket, Krabi, Phang-nga, Satun and Trang, which are popular among both local and foreign tourists.

The group held a press conference this morning at parliament to urge authorities concerned to solve problem of high priced air tickets, claiming that it has discouraged many tourists from travelling by air and may impact the tourism industry in the long run.

Saritpong Kiewkong, a Bhumjaithai MP for Krabi province, said that it is ridiculous that some air tickets to the southern tourist provinces are more expensive than those for international flights.

He said that a ticket from Krabi to Chiang Mai costs 2,000 baht, but the return fare to Krabi is 6,000 baht.

Yesterday, representatives Thai Airways International, Bangkok Airways, Air Asia, Lion Air, Nok Air and Viet Jet were invited to discuss the high air fares, especially during the high season, with senior officials from the Civil Aviation Authority of Thailand (CAAT).

During the meeting, the airline representatives proposed a short term increase in domestic flights during the morning or evening, to offer more options for passengers.

This proposal, though, requires cooperation from the Airports of Thailand Public Company, the Department of Airports and Aeronautical Radio of Thailand.

Air traffic during the Songkran festival this year is expected to increase substantially and it is hoped that the six airlines will come up with their new fares before it starts, according to Transport Minister Suriya Juangroongruangkit.

For the long-term, he said the CAAT has set guidelines for airlines to reduce their highest ticket prices, which were increased during the COVID pandemic, now that passenger loads have recovered.

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