Turkish Airlines debuted its Istanbul-Phuket route earlier this week with the first flight carrying 210 passengers including 20 members of the media from Turkey who were taken to visit such attractions as Phuket Old Town, Wat Chalong, Siam Niramit Phuket and James Bond Island.
“This new Istanbul-Phuket service is part of the collaboration between TAT and Turkish Airlines to meet the growing demand for travel to Thailand from holiday-makers from Turkey, Europe and Latin America. In addition, 2018 marks 60 years of Thai-Turkish relations, and TAT is planning to organise cultural and tourism activities in cooperation with the Embassy of the Republic of Turkey in Thailand,” says Pataraporn Sithivanich, TAT Executive Director for Europe, Africa and the Middle East Region.
The new route to Phuket, one of the world’s best-known beach destinations, will be served by four direct flights per week, with plans to increase these to daily in the upcoming winter season as cater to the higher demand for trips to Thailand.
Phuket is Turkish Airlines’ 300th destination. The airline began a direct Istanbul-Bangkok service in 1989 and now operates 14 flights per week.
“Since 2012, Turkish nationals entering Thailand have been able to apply for a visa-on-arrival and this has led to many more people discovering Amazing Thailand. We know this new Turkish Airlines’ Istanbul-Phuket flight will ensure that more visitors enjoy the delights and unique culture of the southern region of Thailand,” says Pataraorn.
Turkey is one of Thailand’s most important emerging tourist markets. In 2016, Thailand welcomed 74,568 visitors from Turkey, representing an increase of 17.97 per cent over 2015. This year, from January to May, there were 35,605 Turkish travellers to Thailand, up 2.66 per cent year-on-year. The majority of Turkish travellers visit Thailand for a holiday, especially during November to January.