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New flights boost Thailand as global aviation hub      

August 16, 2017 Headline News No Comments Email Email

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

The new flights offer visitors greater convenience and more points of entry when travelling to and from Thailand. The country’s aviation authorities are keen to expand flight frequencies and international gateway destinations to cater for growing traveller demand and a never-ending quest for new itineraries.

Governor of the Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT), Yuthasak Supasorn, says 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,” he said last week.

Thai International A380

“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:

  • Thai Airways International has launched its ‘Phuket Express‘ service with four direct weekly Beijing to Phuket flights. It started in March this year.
  • Qatar Airways has since 1 June 2017 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 launched an Istanbul to Phuket direct service on 17 July 2017, starting with four weekly flights which will increase to daily later this year. The airline started an Istanbul-Bangkok return service in 1989 and currently operates 14 flights per week.
  • Low-cost carrier Thai AirAsia will added daily Maldives flights from Bangkok to Male last Friday (11 August 2017) 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 2017. The airline operates from Bangkok’s Don Mueang International Airport.
  • Jetstar Asia, another low-cost carrier, 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.

“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,” Yuthasak added.

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.

Edited by Peter Needham

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