12:20 PM

Phuket News

Qatar Airways touches down in Krabi

The coastal gateway of Krabi, Thailand, recently welcomed the first Qatar Airways flight to arrive at its international airport from Doha, Qatar.

The Airbus A330-200 was greeted by a water salute to usher in the new four times weekly service to Southern Thailand’s west coast. On board the inaugural flight was Qatar Airways Senior Vice President of Asia Pacific, Mr. Marwan Koleilat, and Thailand’s Ambassador to Qatar, His Excellency Mr. Soonthorn Chaiyindeepum.

With the launch of this new service Qatar Airways has become the first Middle Eastern airline to provide scheduled services to Krabi, providing fast and convenient access to one of the world’s most popular tourism regions. Travellers can now enjoy year-round services to the incredible islands of Phi Phi National Park, while also enjoying other cultural experiences in the Southern Thai province famous for stunning land and seascapes, world-class diving, national parks and eco-tours.

Qatar Airways Senior Vice President of Asia Pacific, Mr. Marwan Koleilat, said: “I am delighted to be able to inaugurate the first service to Krabi, providing travellers from key markets with direct access to Krabi and the region’s tourism hot spots – undeniably some of the most popular and sought after travel destinations in the world. Thailand remains an important market for Qatar Airways as we continue to explore key secondary destinations to better serve the global traveller. Guests can now enjoy Qatar Airways’ award-winning service on board one of the youngest fleets in the industry when we fly together to Krabi, Thailand.

“Additionally, the new service to Krabi opens up a host of convenient global destinations for the people of Krabi and its region and I’d like to thank the Thai people for their continued support over the last 20 years.”

The Southern Thai region of Krabi is a province of stunning natural beauty, with towering limestone formations hugging a myriad of tropical beaches. The area is home to the famous Tiger Cave Temple, Railay Beach. Ko Poda, Khao Phanom Bencha National Park and Ko Lanta Yai; combining to attract a considerable number of sun-seeking tourists every year.

Tourist visa fees waived for all countries

The Thai Government has waived for three months the B1,000 fee for single-entry tourist visas for tourists from all countries.

Similarly, the B2,000 fee for a visa on arrival for the same period – from Dec 1, 2016 to Feb 28, 2017 – has been halved to B1,000 for all applicants, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs announced through an official notice posted through its Consular Services website.

Phuket hotels ready for tourists after airport upgrade

Upgrades at Phuket's airport and an increase in direct international flights are set to further stimulate growth of the island's tourism industry.

Pobchai Jivavisitnon, the owner and managing director of Novotel Phuket Resort and Novotel Phuket Vintage Park, said the renovation of old terminals at Phuket airport will accommodate an influx of arrivals.

Airports of Thailand (AoT) reported that passenger traffic at Phuket airport leapt 19.6% year-on-year to 11.3 million in the first nine months of 2016.

Mr Pobchai said greater coverage by international airlines such as Malaysia-based Malindo Air, which offers direct flights from Kuala Lumpur to Phuket.

The relaunch of Moscow flights and new Frankfurt services via Phuket will also contribute to boosting international arrivals and generate massive revenue for local hotels and tour agencies.

THAI boosts European links with Phuket

Thai Airways has unveiled a series of new flights for its 2016-17 winter schedule, including new services direct between Phuket and Europe.

The national carrier launched a new direct route connecting Phuket with Frankfurt, enabling German holidaymakers to head straight to the popular resort island. This flight will operate three times a week using a Boeing 777 aircraft, and continues onwards between Phuket and Bangkok.

In addition, THAI will increase the frequency of its seasonal Phuket-Copenhagen and Phuket-Stockholm routes to two flights per week each from 9 and 10 December respectively. These services are also operated using a B777.

The national carrier has also added more flights between Europe and Bangkok; the previously suspended Moscow route will resume on 15 December with four weekly B777 flights, and the key Bangkok-London route has increased from 12 to 14 weekly flights, including daily Airbus A380 services.

THAI’s Bangkok-Oslo service has gone daily (up from five weekly flights) and one more weekly flight has been added to the Brussels route, taking it to four weekly flights. Finally, THAI has deployed its brand new A350 to Italy, including four flights per week to Rome and three per week to Milan.