SIA to cancel 19 flights as travellers avoid Bangkok

SIA to cancel 19 flights as travellers avoid Bangkok

SINGAPORE - Singapore Airlines will axe 19 flights to Bangkok in the coming weeks as political tensions in the Thai capital keep some travellers away.

Travel agents are also seeing fewer bookings as leisure travellers opt for less-troubled spots in Thailand like Phuket. The slowdown has even affected Bangkok's popularity as a destination for corporate travel, and meetings, incentives, conferences and exhibitions (Mice) events, they said.

SIA, which flies five times a day to Bangkok, will cancel about one in 10 flights between Jan 14 and Feb 25.

Affected customers will be put on other flights or given refunds if they choose to cancel their plans, airline spokesman Nicholas Ionides told The Straits Times.

SIA is a major carrier on the Singapore-Bangkok route, deploying its Boeing 777 and Airbus 330 aircraft that can typically seat between 285 and 320 passengers.

Other key players include low-cost carriers Tigerair, AirAsia and Jetstar. All three, which operate smaller single-aisle planes, said their flights are operating as usual.

Industry watchers though did not rule out future cancellations among the budget players, saying that unlike full-service carriers that tend to plan their schedules weeks and months in advance, low-cost carriers typically give travellers shorter notice.

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