Starting March 30, Flight FD1101 will depart Phuket International Airport’s Domestic Terminal at 12:50pm daily, touching down at U-Tapao, about 40km from Pattaya by road, at 2:10pm.
From Pattaya to Phuket, Flight FD100 will depart U-Tapao at 10:55am daily and land in Phuket at 12:55pm.
The Phuket-Pattaya launch comes as Thai AirAsia also launches direct direct daily flights connecting U-Tapao and Ubon Ratchathani, also starting March 30.
Santisuk Klongchaiya, Director of Commercial for Thai AirAsia, said that the two new direct-flight services support the Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) policy of stimulating cross-regional travel.
“Regional connections in Thailand are a strength of Thai AirAsia’s ever expanding network and part of its policy to create new travel opportunities for all the country’s regions,” he said.
AirAsia currently operates regional flights from six airport hubs: Bangkok (Don Mueang), Phuket, Chiang Mai, Krabi, U-Tapao and Hat Yai. Together the hubs offer 11 regional connections via 16 flights daily which averaged a load factor of 85% in 2016.
The Phuket-Pattaya ana Pattaya-Ubon Ratchathani services were launched at Thailand International Travel Fair 2017, currently underway at Queen Sirikit National Convention Centre in Bangkok. A special satellite roadshow edition is being held in Phuket Town this weekend. (See story here.)
Promotional fares for U-Tapao-Phuket flights have been launched, starting at B790 (one way, including airport tax and other duties, but excluding fuel excise tax). Flights must be booked before next Tuesday (Feb 26) for travel March 30 through Feb 6, 2018.
Sujitra Jongchansittho, TAT Deputy Governor of Domestic Marketing, said that the government has policy to elevate the country’s economy under the “Thailand 4.0, Economy 4.0” concept.
TAT has drafted its own “Tourism 4.0” framework, which seeks to strengthen the country internally before connecting it to the global economy, Ms Sujitra said.
The plan focuses on basic tourism, constant innovation and the “Regional Travel Challenge” project, an effort to stimulate regional tourism by creating new and stimulating experiences based on local offerings, she noted.
“The goal of the framework is to spread travel income across the country and TAT welcomes AirAsia’s support in enhancing travel between regions,” Ms Sujitra added.