Additional services on domestic flights in Thailand have become a lot more basic as the provision of food, drink and printed materials on board flights has been prohibited to curb the spread of COVID-19.
The in-flight consumption of food and beverage is not allowed, even if passengers bring the refreshments onboard themselves, as masks must be worn at all times. In the case of emergency or necessity, cabin crew are permitted to provide drinking water for the passenger in an isolated area, as far away from other people as possible. This is the second time authorities have taken this measure, as they implemented it previously on 26 April and lifted the ban on 31 August, 2020.
The Thai Government has also suspended the onboard printed materials service, such as newspapers, magazines or advertisement pamphlets, with the exception of documents or materials pertaining to safety. Passengers are permitted to bring their own printed materials on board, but will likely have to bring them with them when they disembark.
“Cleaning time after each stop of domestic flight is extremely short, since operators tend to do the quickest turnaround as possible and I think it is unlikely operators would be able to thoroughly clean all of these items,” Chula Sukmanop, director general of Civil Aviation Authority of Thailand (CAAT) told CNN. “Therefore, having non-essential reading materials on-board would create more risk of virus exposure.”
The Thai Government has elevated the level of public health measures in an attempt to stabilize the public health emergency situation and prevent its escalation. Airlines have to follow the new regulations, or they will face possible penalty from the regulator CAAT. Further information can be found on CAAT’s website here.