Have you noticed that flights to Thailand are quite expensive this year?
Sure, the cost of living has risen lately, but why are Thailand flights significantly more than they were last year?
There are lots of different reasons why flying to Thailand has gotten more expensive. Some of them are probably obvious, but some others require a little deeper digging.
So, below I want to go over why the flights to Thailand have become so expensive…
Let’s get the simplest flight cost out of the way – seasonality. You probably know by now that booking at different times of the year, and even week, can have a huge impact on prices.
Thailand is no exception to this. Not only do people tend to book more flights during school holidays and over Christmas and New Year, but they also go to Thailand when it’s cold. This means that in the northern winter flights to Thailand are often more expensive too.
Of course, it is also cheaper to fly to Thailand during the monsoon season which typically runs from July to October, but varies a little each year of course.
There is a lot more demand for flights to Thailand this year than in the last two years combined. Thailand took a bit longer to open up than most after the pandemic, which has certainly played a role.
On top of this, a lot more people are traveling to Thailand in 2023 than the year before. You can see in the chart above that the number of tourists coming to Thailand this year has skyrocketed and the number of flights has definitely not kept up with demand.
Add to this the rising demand from China which is also opening up after the pandemic and the influx of Russians either on vacation or seeking somewhere to avoid the war, and you have a huge demand peak for flights to Thailand.
The war in the Ukraine has had a huge effect on flights to Asia. The airspace over both Russia and the Ukraine are now closed meaning many flights from Europe to Asia are now significantly longer.
Apparently, a flight from London to Bangkok is now 500 miles longer than the previous direct flight. This obviously adds to the time and cost of flights to Thailand.
Unfortunately, Thai Airways has not restarted its direct flights from the USA yet. So, this makes flying to Thailand from the USA more expensive as there are fewer options. There are now some flights from Canada to Thailand direct, but the USA is still not directly connected.
If you compare that to the UK or other major European or Asian airports, there are direct flights from Thailand to almost all of them.
Due to the Russia-Ukraine war, the price of aviation fuel has significantly increased. As you can see in the chart above it is slowly recovering. However, your experience filling your car at the pump will also tell you that things have just not gotten back to normal -yet.
Unfortunately, all airlines have very large fuel costs. It is around 25% of their overall costs. So, fuel price variations play a huge role in ticket price costs.
Clearly, flying to Thailand is going to be a lot more expensive than a domestic flight in Europe or the USA. The distances mean that the cost of the flight is always going to be a lot more. The airlines have to pay a lot more for fuel, staff, food and beverages, and baggage handling.
A flight from London to Barcelona is 2 hours and 5 minutes compared to a flight from London to Bangkok which is 11 hours or more. That is five times the length of the flight.
The months of July and August still bring about chaos at our airports because staff shortages still have not been fixed. With a surge in travelers and a dearth of staff for security and aircraft operations, disruptions have become commonplace.
Flight cancellations are on the rise, and there’s a reduction in scheduled flights, leading to an increase in the cost of flying to destinations like Thailand. It’s expected flights to Thailand will remain quite expensive until the workforce issues are addressed.
Roger is a little obsessed with travel. He has been to over 40 countries, broken 3 suitcases and owned over 10 backpacks in 12 months. What he doesn't know about travel, ain't worth knowing!