“Aeroflot airline is increasing the volume of regular passenger flights to Phuket as part of its winter schedule. This month, the carrier is planning to expand its flight program, including [new flights] from Russian regions,” the Russian Consulate in Phuket announced through social media today (Nov 12).
The announced expansion includes:
- Direct Phuket flights from Vladivostok and Novosibirsk twice a week;
- Direct Phuket flights from Krasnoyark three times a week;
- Third direct Phuket flight from Moscow daily (to supplement the existing two).
The Russian Consulate did not announce the exact date for the new flight to start. The announcement just says that they are expected in November.
Currently, the available direct flights from Russia are limited to two daily flights from Moscow by Aeroflot and three flights per week from Moscow by IKAR. Those flights were resumed in late October.
Despite limited travel options, Russian arrivals to Phuket have been showing steady growth from late September. During the month of October, some 23,089 Russian nationals passed through immigration control at Phuket International Airport compared to around 3,200-4,200 monthly from May through September.
As of Nov 12, Russian nationals are by far the leading group of foreign tourists to Phuket in terms of direct arrivals to Phuket International Airport.
Since the reopening of direct flights last month, Russia has pushed India to the second line in the list of top source markets for Phuket tourism. Since November Russian arrivals are more than two times higher than Indian and more than three times higher than Australian or British.
The top ten countries in terms of arrivals for Nov 1-11 are as follows:
- Russia – 20,453;
- India – 9,810;
- Australia – 5,974;
- UK – 5,037;
- Germany – 4,616;
- Kazakhstan – 3,888;
- Singapore – 3,667;
- Malaysia – 3,152;
- USA – 2,635;
- South Korea – 2,111.
Total arrivals for Nov 1-11 stand at 83,428 passengers with Russia accounting for nearly 25%.