Hanoi (VNA) – The third COVID-19 wave that has been hitting Thailand from April this year has worsen the situation of the struggling Thai aviation industry due to uncertainty over the COVID-19 outbreak among Thai and foreign tourists.

According to the Civil Aviation Authority of Thailand (CAAT), the volume of passengers and flights in the second quarter of this year dropped by 35.5 percent and 27.8 percent year on year, respectively.

Meanwhile, Chairman of the Airports of Thailand (AOT) Nitinai Sirismatthakarn said that in the first six months of this year, the volume of passengers at six airports dropped to an average of 10,000 per day – an 80 percent contraction year on year.

Citing the Bank of Thailand's forecast, the CAAT said many negative sentiments pressured the aviation industry, such as the vaccination rate and sluggish recovery in the tourism sector's recovery.

The agency held that if the government can procure and distribute 100 million doses of Covid-19 vaccines within this year, herd immunity is expected to be created within the first quarter of next year which is too late because the country's tourism season will begin from October this year.

The CAAT said the slowdown in the tourism sector's recovery also affected the aviation industry because Thailand was unable to ease quarantine measures within the second quarter of this year, while the crisis is likely to prolong.

It added that the number of foreign tourists visiting Thailand this year is expected to drop to 700,000 people and 10 million people next year, compared to the previous forecast of 3 million people this year and 21.5 million people in 2022.

The authority does not expect the aviation industry to recover significantly this year as the Covid-19 crisis is becoming more severe, while Thailand has imposed travel restrictions which directly affect the tourism sector.

On August 3, Thailand put 40 percent of its population into Dark Red zones with strict control measures./.