Five international airlines are expanding air access to Thailand with new flights from Beijing, Doha, Istanbul, Maldives, India’s Jaipur and Tiruchirappalli, and Singapore, strengthening the Kingdom’s status as a global aviation hub.
The new flights offer visitors greater convenience and more choice for point of entry when travelling to and from Thailand. The country’s aviation authorities continue to expand both flight frequency and international gateway destinations to handle growing traveller demand and the never-ending quest for new itineraries. Mr. Yuthasak Supasorn, Governor of the Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) said, “Thailand has long been the key portal to Asia and 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.” Scheduled flights to be added or recently started service during 2017 include: Starting 27 March, this year, Thai Airways International has launched its ‘Phuket Express‘ service with four direct weekly Beijing to Phuket flights. Since 1 June, this year, Qatar Airways has operated flights from Doha to Bangkok five days a week. 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 flights per week.
Turkish Airlines has launched the Istanbul to Phuket direct service on 17 July, 2017, starting with four weekly flights that will increase to daily during 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 will add daily Maldives flights from Bangkok to Male starting on 11 August, 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 29 September. 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 return from 3 November, 2017, using 180-seat Airbus A320 aircraft. Bookings are currently available for purchase in Singapore. Mr. Yuthasak added, “TAT has also signed a series of a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with major international airlines aimed at strengthening tourism cooperation and boosting the number of visitor arrivals to Thailand.” TAT recently inked MOUs 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.