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Shanghai-Phuket daily direct flights to start next week

Shanghai-Phuket daily direct flights to start next week

PHUKET: Daily direct flights from Shanghai to Phuket will begin next week, marking the first direct flight out of mainland China to land on the island since March 2020.

By The Phuket News

Tuesday 10 January 2023, 02:53PM

Chinese tourists arriving from Xiamen were welcomed on arrival at Suvarnabhumi Airport yesterday (Jan 9). Photo; MoTS

Chinese tourists arriving from Xiamen were welcomed on arrival at Suvarnabhumi Airport yesterday (Jan 9). Photo; MoTS

Phuket officials and national tourism officials have yet to mark the news publicly. Airports of Thailand (AoT), which operates Phuket International Airport also has yet to confirm the daily flights. The news was confirmed in a report by the Bangkok Post this morning (Jan 10). 

The daily flights will be operated by Juneyao Air, and start next Wednesday (Jan 18)

Suksit Suvunditkul, President of the Thai Hotels Association (Southern Chapter), said the number of direct flights and tourists from China remained relatively small compared to other countries, noted the Bangkok Post report.

Independent travellers booking trips via online platforms are expected to visit the island starting from next month, the report added.

No direct flights from China to Phuket were included in AoT’s flight schedule for January, issued on Jan 3.

News of the first direct flights from China to Phuket follows Deputy Prime Minister and Public Health Minister Anutin Charnvirakul welcoming 269 passengers landing at Bangkok’s Suvarnabhumi Airport at 12:19pm yesterday (Jan 9).

Joining the welcoming committee were Tourism & Sports Minister Phiphat Ratchakitprakarn and Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) Governor Yuthsak Supasorn.

The Chinese travellers arrived on Xiamen Airlines flight MF833 from Xiamen, China, becoming the first flight from mainland China to land in Thailand since March 2020.

Throughout yesterday, a total of 15 flights from China, carrying 3,465 passengers in total, arrived in the country.

During the welcoming of the Chinese arrivals yesterday, Anutin declared that the requirement for all international arrivals to be fully vaccinated in order to enter Thailand had been scrapped ‒ with immediate effect.

The policy shift was an absolute reversal of the entry requirements Anutin himself had announced only four days earlier.

Thailand now anticipates more than 300,000 visitors from China in the first quarter of this year. Airports of Thailand expects some 7-10 million travellers from China in total to travel through all its airports, including Phuket, throughout 2023.

The TAT last Friday revised its 2023 foreign tourist arrivals target from 20 million visitors to 25mn.

However, that was before the ‘proof of vaccination’ requirement was scrapped.

Before the COVID-19 pandemic, AoT airports in 2019 saw about 20.5mn Chinese tourists arrive in Thailand on board flights.

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JohnC | 11 January 2023 - 08:50:17

And now it's Chinese invasion time. At least they are better behaved and more culturally sensitive than the current hordes of Russians iinvaders. They also tend to protect themselves with masks while westerners and eastern block people take pride in flaunting rules for their own 'personal freedoms'. In other words, selfish ar..holes that care about nobody but themselves.

harald | 11 January 2023 - 08:46:36

very good, because then, along with tourists from russia, the chinese are too in the group "most tourists come from", while europeans who have been impoverished by sanctions can hardly afford vacations in thailand. and good for me, because then i can fly very cheaply to europe and back via shanghai, hong kong or beijing. i only fly with russian or chinese airlines in general :-D

harald | 11 January 2023 - 08:20:19

christysweet you should read the manufacturer's information about the masks. then you should also realize that they don't even hold back street dust well and definitely not the tiny covid19 and variants, if they aren't very, very expensive and special masks against viruses that only the super rich could afford

DeKaaskopp | 10 January 2023 - 20:59:33

Time for the fearmongers to have their sayings again .Yawn!

cheez | 10 January 2023 - 18:23:43

@Paddy.... I agree with you 100%.  Uncertain and scary times ahead.

harald | 10 January 2023 - 17:15:11

surely media victims now foresee the extinction in thailand in the expected 10th corona wave, because the population increased in the previous ones. everyone else is happy for and with the thai people that finally many chinese are coming to thailand again. it is also gratifying that china has finally pulled out of the pandemic game.

agogohome | 10 January 2023 - 16:59:23

The sooner the better, for Phuket businesses that rely on them. 

christysweet | 10 January 2023 - 16:09:50

Asians generally seem to be far more sensible about masks than westerners, let's hope this continues as new variants are cultured in the upcoming  SARS-2 Phuket-Petri dish experiment. 

Paddy | 10 January 2023 - 15:05:17

Big mistake.


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