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Aeroflot set to resume flights to Phuket

BANGKOK: Hope is being regained that Thai tourism can attract 1 million Russian tourists this year as Aeroflot will resume direct flights to Phuket this winter after a pause of several months due to the Russian-Ukraine conflict.

By Bangkok Post

Saturday 30 July 2022, 10:27AM

Photo: TASS / file

Photo: TASS / file

Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) Governor Yuthasak Supasorn said Aeroflot has confirmed the resumption of the Moscow to Phuket service in the winter schedule, starting from Oct 30 with a daily service, reports the Bangkok Post.

Aeroflot and several other Russian carriers suspended flights to the island since March this year.

As of July 26, the number of Russian visitors to Thailand stood at 76,739. Most entered the country during the first quarter before Russia’s invasion of Ukraine escalated, which prompted the European Union (EU) to impose aviation sanctions against Russia.

"In discussions with tour operators focusing on this market, they are confident about demand to Thailand. The only problem is the lack of connectivity. If Aeroflot can resume direct services as planned, while more airlines could follow in the next few months, we can still anticipate an influx of tourists in the final quarter," said Mr Yuthasak.

He said many airlines from Thailand, such as Thai Airways and Thai AirAsia X, were interested in operating this route to replace Russian carriers, but due to sanctions from European countries, technical assistance such as maintenance and shipments of spare parts were also banned over the past few months, as well as insurance that would not provide coverage in such circumstances.

However, the EU on July 27 announced an exemption for the sharing of technical information in the framework of the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO), which includes any technical support related to repairs, development, manufacture, assembly, testing, maintenance, or any other technical services.

Mr Yuthasak said it has to clarify with related authorities again how this revised sanction from the EU could make any changes to the current aviation situation regarding Russia.

tile-it - Phuket’s Quality Tile Boutique

The number of international tourists to Thailand this year tallied 3.12mn between Jan 1 and July 26.

Sisdivachr Cheewarattanaporn, President of the Association of Thai Travel Agents (ATTA), said only 10% of 1,600 ATTA members are able to restart their businesses at present.

Most of them have to shift from the Chinese and Russian markets to India and Malaysia, which were the top markets with 381,542 and 322,079 arrivals, respectively, as of July 26.

"Most tour operators remain closed, particularly 400 companies that previously focused on the Chinese market. However, as the outlook for the upcoming high season is promising, we have to prepare for resumption by restarting business matching in popular destinations like Phuket this month," said Mr Sisdivachr.

ATTA will lead 170 tour operators to Phuket to have business matching with 70-80 local hotels this weekend.

He said tour operators and hotels have to work together to gauge the tourism demand in the final quarter and prepare their services to avoid a supply shortage as most hotels in Phuket have been shuttered for over two years.


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Kamala Pete | 06 August 2022 - 12:38:55

Comrade Haraldski, the one third supporting the sanctions are those WHO COUNT. Most of the two thirds are happily accepting overseas aid from the competent one third. 

Kurt | 06 August 2022 - 11:55:49

We read: Aeroflot paused flights to Thailand due to Russian war against Ukraine. War still going on, although Russia thought before it would be a piece of cake to run over Ukraine in a short time. And, many countries not sanctioning Russia have nothing to sacntion in house. They even can not feed their own people. Even in the gold mine Sudan what now get robbed of her gold by Russia 

christysweet | 06 August 2022 - 11:18:09

Most of humanity lives in grassand  clay huts and eats rice for meals- hardly a factor in determining the harm done to Russia from  global economic powerhouses. It's a blatant "grasping at straws" argument to defend Putin's complete take down of his own nation to  feed his ego.   

christysweet | 06 August 2022 - 11:11:48

Frozen assets of 350 billion  12% reduction in GDP 10- 25% unemployment dp.. on   sector. Manufacturing industry set back 30 years Normally public economy  info is now classified. All so..   what exactly is Putin's Folly hoping to achieve? Oh yeah the reunification of the USSR. What a moron. 

harald | 05 August 2022 - 20:40:45

@ Kurt funny you and your worldwide sanctions.  only about 40 countries participate in them, while the remaining well over 150 countries are neutral and thus represent about 2/3 of humanity. therfore no problems with the powerfull rubel and also not with spare parts for russian planes :-D

harald | 05 August 2022 - 20:31:19

funny some here who speak of global sanctions, who apparently do not know that there are only around 40 countries and almost only western servants or partially occupied countries by the terror state usa. Of course, they also don't know that russia gets spare parts for boeing and airbus planes from more than 150 neutral countries, and also don't know that they are very well insured.

christysweet | 02 August 2022 - 10:09:07

What legal case? Am I to spend months,...years  perusing legal cases  so as to bolster a claim I disagree with?  Just another crap debator...  Jaysus.  

Pooliekev | 01 August 2022 - 14:00:16

@Christsweet. Check the ongoing legal case.

Kurt | 31 July 2022 - 11:25:31

Is Thailand still accepting the russian ruble as a currency? Due to world wide sanctions it is hard to see the ruble any longer as a international currency.

christysweet | 31 July 2022 - 10:53:27

Reuters reports Russia has just defaulted on debt for the first time in 24 years- its banks are cut out from the SWIFT system- plus much more, so yes sanctions have done damage and include USA, UK, Aus and  ALL of the EU, plus another 12  or so. 

phkt-2016 | 31 July 2022 - 10:28:19

1 million tourists? Who does the math here.
Starts flying in October to achieved 1 million they need 10.000 + arrivals per day,that would mean approx 12 - 16 flights per day......

Pooliekev | 30 July 2022 - 15:39:17

Good to see those international sanctions are having the desired effect. Well done America. 

Nasa12 | 30 July 2022 - 15:36:42

This will not happen for many years, with a direct route from Russia.

Kurt | 30 July 2022 - 13:51:57

Aeroflot is short of spare parts for it's fleet due to international sanctions. Has to skeleton aircrafts to replace broken parts in other aircrafts. Good  luck flying Aeroflot.


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