The Civil Aviation Authority of Thailand (CAAT) has banned all transit flights with Covid-19 infected passengers following China banning two Thai airlines temporarily after several passengers reportedly tested positive upon arrival in China.
The airlines, Thai AirAsia X and Thai Lionair, were flying from Jakarta and Kuala Lumpur earlier this month and stopped in Bangkok for transit only to reportedly get the rights to fly onto China. No passengers disembarked or were exposed to the general population according to the Center for Covid-19 Situation Administration, or CCSA. The incident caused some confusion on Thai social media with some claiming, which is false, the passengers had come directly from Thailand. The CCSA stated no passengers boarded or were from Thailand.
The flights were XJ808 and SL117, from Kuala Lumpur and Jakarta via Bangkok’s Don Mueang airport to Tianjin and Guangzhou, China.
China has temporarily banned flights from Thai Airasia X and Thai Lionair as a result. It is unclear how long the ban will last, however with Thailand taking immediate action China has reportedly been pleased. The new rule requires that all passengers who go through transit in Thailand, regardless if they disembark, will have to have a a Covid-19 free certification.
The majority of flights currently going through transit in Bangkok are repatriation style flights, the CCSA noted, and no passengers without the proper approval are allowed to disembark and enter Thailand. The new requirement for every passenger to be certified Covid-19 free, even on transit, could make it more difficult for some passengers to fly through Thailand, the CCSA admitted, but is a precaution that has to be taken.