FTCCI Represents to Thai Government to resume Thai Airways Passenger & Cargo operations in Telangana to pre-COVID level

 - Sakshi Post

The Federation of Telangana Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FTCCI) apex Chamber in the state of Telangana  has represented to the Thai Government to resume Thai Airways passenger & Cargo operations in Telangana to pre-covid level.

Telangana which houses many a MNCs and home to numerous industries &  businesses is engaged actively in trade with Thailand and other nearby regions. The Hyderabad International Airport (HYD) which is the 5th largest in India in terms of passenger traffic, is the gateway to not just Hyderabad and Telangana but also to the whole of South Central India, covering a vast catchment area spread across the states of Telangana, Andhra Pradesh, Southern & Western Maharashtra, Northern Karnataka and Southern Madhya Pradesh among others.

Telangana and nearby regions are a massive source of tourist traffic into Thailand, which was primarily routed through Hyderabad Airport using a popular Hyderabad – Bangkok flight service operated by Thai Airways over the years which operated 7 days a week.

Mr Bhasker Reddy President FTCCI said “  Prior to the Covid-19 pandemic, the daily Thai Airways flight link between Hyderabad and Bangkok was operated by a wide-body Boeing B777-200 aircraft which offered ample capacity of over 300 seats, including 30 business class seats and over 15 metric tonnes of commercial cargo in addition to passenger baggage. However, with the onset of the pandemic, the flights were curtailed and never resumed even under the air bubble arrangement that saw limited passenger and cargo-only flights resume on almost all the other major sectors such as Hyderabad – London, Hyderabad – Dubai, Hyderabad – Doha and Hyderabad – Hong Kong to name a few” .

“ The withdrawal of the direct flight connectivity between Hyderabad and Bangkok has seriously affected the level of bilateral trade, tourism and business travel between Telangana and Thailand. The negative impact of this service withdrawal is seen most starkly in air cargo volumes, wherein Thai Airways which had carried around 6,300 metric tonnes of cargo during FY2019-20, carried NIL cargo directly between Hyderabad and Bangkok since then” Mr. Bhasker Reddy added.

Recently, there have been reports that Thai Airways will downgrade this route a smaller narrow-body Airbus A320 aircraft with nearly half the passenger capacity and much lower cargo carrying ability of only about 1-2 MT in each flight, that too limited to small packages/non-palletized cargo since the small aircraft is not suited to carrying larger cargo typically carried in international routes on wide-body planes such as the Boeing 777/Boeing 787/Airbus A330/Airbus A350.

However, it is noteworthy that during the first week of April 2022,  the Telangana government and the Ministry of Commerce, Thailand have entered into a Memorandum of Understanding aiming to promote trade and investments between both countries. This laudable effort undertaken by both governments will need the support of direct, wide-body flight connectivity between Bangkok and Hyderabad to truly deliver on the promised outcomes.

In this background FTCCI has represented to the Consul General Royal Thai Consulate-General Chennai India and Thai Government to kindly take up the matter with Thai Airways and support the early restoration of daily wide-body flights on the Hyderabad – Bangkok route which will be a true win-win for trade, tourism and people-to-people exchanges between Telangana and Thailand.

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