More traffic in the skies

Thailand August 16, 2017 13:04

By The Nation

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Five international airlines are expanding air access to Thailand with new flights from Beijing, Doha, Istanbul, Maldives, Jaipur and Tiruchirappalli in India, and Singapore all strengthening the Kingdom’s status as a global aviation hub.

“Thailand has long been the key portal to Asia and a global aviation hub. Steady passenger growth depends on more flights and finding new entry points to the country. These new flights provide visitors with more choice, flexibility and convenience when travelling or making connections to major cities around Thailand. We hope that the expanded air access boosts tourism arrivals,” said Yuthasak Supasorn, governor of the Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT).

On March 27 this year, Thai Airways International launched its “Phuket Express” service with four direct weekly flights between Beijing and Phuket.

Qatar Airways has been operating five flights a day from Doha to Bangkok since June 1. The increased frequency, along with its double-daily Phuket flights and the five-month-old Krabi operations (four weekly flights), increase Qatar Airways departures from Thailand to Doha to 53 per week.

Turkish Airlines launched the Istanbul to Phuket direct service on July 17, starting with four weekly flights that will increase to daily this coming winter. The airline started the Istanbul-Bangkok return service in 1989 and currently operates 14 flights per week.

Low-cost carrier Thai AirAsia has added daily Maldives flights from Bangkok to Male since August 11, using Airbus A320 aircraft. The airline is also expanding its services to India with the Bangkok-Jaipur and Bangkok-Tiruchirappalli routes, each with four flights a week, starting on September 29. The airline operates from Bangkok’s Don Mueang International Airport.

Another low-cost carrier, Jetstar Asia ,will add four weekly flights from Singapore to Hat Yai from November 3, using 180-seat Airbus A320 aircraft. Bookings are currently available for purchase in Singapore.

TAT recently inked Memoranda f Understanding with EVA Air to work on joint tourism promotion strategies for the US and Canada markets; with Etihad Airways to jointly promote travel to Thailand from the UAE, the UK, France, Germany, Italy, Egypt, and Kuwait; with Qatar Airways for travellers from Europe, Africa and the Middle East, and Singapore Airlines’ important inbound markets including Singapore, Australia, New Zealand and South Africa.