The schedule for December lists 38 foreign air carriers which will perform 3,000 international return flights to Phuket from various cities around the globe.
The top-11 airlines to have the busiest schedule and most Phuket-bound flights in December include:
- Qatar Airways – 70 flights per week from Doha, Bangkok;
- Singapore Airlines – 56 flights from Singapore;
- Go First Airlines – 52 flights from Bangalore, Mumbai, Delhi, Kolkata;
- Aeroflot Russian Airlines – 48 flights from Moscow, Krasnoyarsk, Vladivostok, Novosibirsk;
- Scat Airlines – 44 flights from Astana, Almaty, Taraz, Shymkent;
- Air Asia Berhad – 42 flights from Kuala Lumpur;
- Azur Air – 40 flights from Moscow, Saint Petersburg, Khabarovsk, Novosibirsk, Yekaterinburg, Ufa, Irkutsk, Krasnoyarsk, Perm, Kazan;
- Scoot Tiger Airways – 32 flights from Singapore;
- Etihad Airways – 28 flights from Abu Dhabi, BKK;
- Emirates Airlines – 28 flights from Dubai;
- Indigo Airlines – 28 flights from Mumbai, Delhi.
Russia tops the list in terms of number of departure cities for Phuket-bound aircrafts. India and Kazakhstan share the second place. All three countries were in the top-10 for international arrivals to Phuket in November with Russia providing 63,357 visits, India supplying 29,263 tourists and Kazakhstan sending 10,659 travelers.
In the domestic market Phuket airport expects to service 3,730 flights by six airlines, namely:
- Thai AirAsia – 252 flights per week from Bangkok, Chiang Mai, Khon Kaen, Udon Thani;
- Bangkok Airways – 169 flights from Bangkok, Samui, Hat Yai, U-Tapao;
- Thai Smile Airways – 154 flights from Bangkok;
- Thai VietJet – 152 flights from Bangkok, Chiang Mai, Chiang Rai;
- Nok Air – 56 flights from Bangkok, Ubon Ratchathani,
- Thai Lion Air – 42 flights from Bangkok.
With all the aforementioned flights performed, the average number of daily flights in December will reach 217. In November, the maximum number of daily flights reached 219 on Nov 26 with the average being around 200 flights.
As for passengers, in November the airport welcomed 244,946 visitors arriving on international flights, including 2,382 Thais, according to Phuket Immigration Office. Total arrivals to Phuket for May-November reached 959,217 travelers.
These numbers include all passengers who passed through immigration control on arrival at Phuket International Airport, but do not include those who passed through immigration in Bangkok and then flew to Phuket on domestic flights.
Arrivals surpass 9 million
Overall arrivals to Thailand for Jan-Nov this year totaled 9.4 million people, according to the statement by Yuthasak Supasorn, Governor of the Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT).
Daily arrivals to Thailand currently stand at 50,000-60,000, Mr Yuthasak said yesterday (Dec 2). This figure includes all the entries through land border crossings as well.
Phuket International Airports on average welcomed 8,165 people on direct flights from abroad in November. The post-pandemic record high of 10,467 arrivals was recorded on Nov 26 when the airport serviced 219 aircrafts.
On the national scene, Malaysia leads the way in terms of arrivals having provided 1.5mn tourist and non-tourist visits this year.
"But we are seeing a shift in the number of long-distance tourists like more Russians coming to Thailand,” said Mr Yuthasak.
“They escape the cold weather to travel to Thailand," he added, explaining the surge in arrivals from Russia which started in late September when Russians mobilised themselves as a traveling nation.
Phiphat Ratchakitprakarn, the Minister of Tourism and Sports, earlier said that the country expects over 10mn foreign visits in 2022 and up to 12mn if China opens its borders and allows Chinese nationals to travel to other countries and return back without too much trouble. This has not happened so far.
TAT also plans to achieve 10mn international visitors in 2022, as Mr Yuthasak confirmed speaking at the 22nd World Travel and Tourism Council (WTTC) Global Summit in Saudi Arabia on Dec 1.
He noted that the worldwide COVID-19 restrictions created much pent up demand for travel and, having fully reopened from October, Thailand is now seeing visitor arrivals from markets around the world rebound.
In 2023, the Kingdom of Thailand is aiming for 80% of pre-pandemic tourism revenue, Mr Yuthasak revealed at the summit.
*The 3,000 international and 3,730 domestics flights (6,730 flights in total) include all flights to be serviced by Phuket airport including inbound flights, outbound flights as well as flights like Doha-Phuket-Bangkok (QR842/842) or Bangkok-Phuket-Doha (QR841/841). This gives over 3,000 landings with around half of them being flights from abroad. Correction was made and this clarification added after the story had already been pulished. The error is regretted.