Flights from Russia to the resort island of Phuket in Thailand are scheduled to resume from the end of October. Three Russian carriers immediately announced their readiness for this. Phuket International Airport CEO Monchai Thanode told The Phuket News.
According to the head of the Thai airport, the improvement in the situation with COVID-19 has led to an increase in the number of flights and passengers served by Phuket International Airport. So, in January-August this year, 849,406 passengers passed through the airport, the number of arrivals and departures of flights amounted to 9,167.
Monchai also confirmed that three Russian airlines, one of which is Aeroflot, have notified Phuket International Airport of their readiness to fly to and from the Thai island, operating at least two flights a day. Presumably, the second and third carriers in question are IKAR Airlines and S7, but so far the representatives have not confirmed this information.
The readiness to resume flights with Thailand was publicly expressed by the Russian flag carrier Aeroflot. It was about two regular flights a day from the Russian capital to Phuket from October 30. At the same time, IKAR Airlines announced the start of the flight program from October 29, but did not announce the number of flights. S7 Airlines announced flights to Bangkok from November 2 (five flights a week), but it is not yet clear if S7 will become the third Russian carrier to fly to Phuket.
Passenger traffic through Phuket International Airport will reach 13 million next year, according to an island airport spokesman. At the same time, a substantial part of the arrivals, in addition to the Russians, is expected to be the Chinese. Their massive comeback could start around the end of the year (details here). However, the forecasted expectations for the volume of tourist traffic, even with two important tourist markets, do not reach the pre-Covid figure – in 2019, the airport recorded its historical maximum of 18 million.
“After 34 years of operation, Phuket International Airport is ready to continue to evolve and make constant changes for the good, including caring for society and the environment along with its aviation business. We are ready to enter our 35th year of excellence building passenger confidence and customer satisfaction with the motto “Safety is the standard. Service is the heart,” the airport said.
On the other hand, he acknowledged that the airport faces difficulties and sometimes has problems. For example, recent flight delays and diversions have been linked to emergency runway repairs. In addition, the manager did not mention the most recent incident: in late September, there was a shootout at the airport between a taxi driver and security personnel at the point of departure. The reason for the shooting was that security officers forcibly forced two tourists to leave the taxi they ordered through the application, because the car did not belong to the cooperative listed among the partners of the airport.
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