Thailand: Seven global airlines to fly direct to Thai holiday island Phuket

  • Seven international airlines will operate direct flights to Phuket in southern Thailand, starting in Jul 21, bringing foreign tourists to the resort island, with the Thai government accepting visitors vaccinated for COVID-19 without quarantines.
  • Thai Airways International will focus on welcoming vacationers from five European cities. Flights from Paris; Frankfurt, Germany; and Copenhagen to Phuket will begin 2 Jul 21, according to the national flag carrier’s chief commercial officer, Nond Kalinta. Flights from London and Zurich will resume on 3 Jul 21.
  • British Airways, Cathay Pacific, Etihad Airways, Qatar Airways, Emirates, and Israel’s El Al will operate flights to Phuket beginning in Jul 21, according to Yuthasak Supasorn, governor of the Tourism Authority of Thailand.
  • The Tourism Authority of Thailand is forecasting the arrival of 129,000 foreign visitors in the first three months of the experiment. If the program goes smoothly, vaccinated tourists will be allowed to travel to places such as Bangkok, Pattaya and Chiang Mai, starting in Oct 21, and throughout the country in 2022.
  • Representatives of several travel agencies in Thailand told Nikkei Asia that the pilot program is drawing strong interest from European travellers, many of whom typically spend weeks during the summer in tropical resorts.
  • The Tourism Authority of Thailand expects Singapore Airlines, Hong Kong Airlines, Taiwan’s EVA Air, Korean Air, its budget subsidiary Jin Air and French-Dutch carrier KLM to join the seven participating airlines soon.

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