The move follows Nok Air being allowed to operate one special flight a day from Phuket to U-Tapao, on the outskirts of Pattaya in Chon Buri province, on Aug 2, 4 and 5.
However, Nok Air last week also requested special permission to continue the flights as a special service for Phuket Sandbox tourists looking to leave the island.
Nok Air has now confirmed that it has been granted permission to continue to operate the flights, twice a day on selected days, from tomorrow Aug 10 through Aug 18.
The flights will operate on Aug 10, 12, 13, 15, 17 and 18. (See image gallery above.)
On the selected days, Nok Air Flight DD785 will depart Phuket at 11:05am and arrive at U-Tapao at 12:25pm, while flight DD789 will depart at 3:10pm and arrive at U-Tapao at 4:30pm.
Meanwhile, a joint initiative by Phuket officials and the private sector has launched a ‘Sandbox Express Bus’ service so that Sandbox tourists stuck in Phuket can at least travel to Suvarnabhumi International Airport in Bangkok.
In announcing the service, Nanthasiri Ronnasiri, Director of the Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) Phuket office, explained, ““Some Sandbox tourists have plans to travel to other provinces like Bangkok, Chiang Mai, Chiang Rai, Hua Hin or Koh Samui, but they do not have any flights to go there. Additionally, some tourists also have return flights home departing from Suvarnabhumi airport,” she added.
“So the Phuket TAT, the Phuket Tourist Association and other private companies together created the bus service to help tourists traveling from Phuket to the airport [in Bangkok],” she said.
“Interested tourists can online register in our Google form [click here]. We use 40-seat buses but only allow about 20 passengers per trip. Some trips may have only 10 passengers,” she added.
At last report, new chief of the Phuket Land Transport Office (PLTO) Jaturong Kaewsaki said that Phuket officials were also in talks with local taxi and van drivers about providing transport for Sandbox tourists to other destinations in the country.