Russian airline to resume flights to Thailand

There are renewed hopes that Thai tourism will attract a million Russian tourists this year, as Aeroflot will resume direct flights to Phuket this winter.

The Russian airline took a few months off due to the Russian-Ukrainian conflict.

As of July 26, the number of Russian visitors to Thailand stood at 76,739.

Most entered the country in the first quarter, before Russia’s escalating offensive in Ukraine prompted the European Union (EU) to impose air sanctions on Russia.

Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) Governor Yuthasak Supasorn said Aeroflot has confirmed the resumption of the Moscow-Phuket route on the winter schedule, starting daily service from October 30.

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

“Discussions with tour operators who focus on this market, they are confident about the needs of Thailand.

The only problem is the lack of connectivity.

If Aeroflot can resume direct services as planned, other airlines can follow in the coming months and we can still expect tourist arrivals in the last quarter,” Yuthasak said.

See: Russia’s Interest in Thailand Travel Increases

He added that many Thai airlines, such as Thai Airways and Thai AirAsia X, are interested in operating the route to replace Russian carriers, but due to sanctions by European countries, technical support such as maintenance and shipment of spare parts has also been banned recently. months, as well as insurance that will not provide cover in such situations.

See also: Thailand should take back Russian tourists who have become unwanted in Europe

However, the EU announced on July 27 an exemption for the sharing of technical information within the framework of the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO), including repair, development, production, assembly, testing, maintenance or any other technical assistance. Technical services.

Mr Yuthasak said that how this revised EU ban could change the current aviation situation regarding Russia should be clarified again with the relevant authorities.

Most tour operators in Thailand are closed

This year, the number of international tourists to Thailand reached 3.12 million between January 1 and July 26.

WATCH: Thailand to welcome more than 3 million travelers since early 2022

Association of Thai Travel Agents (ATA) president Sisdivachar Chewarattanaporn said only 10% of ATTA’s 1,600 members are currently able to reopen their businesses.

Most of them must leave the Chinese and Russian markets in favor of India and Malaysia, which were the first markets with 381,542 and 322,079 arrivals respectively as of July 26.

“Most tour operators remain closed, especially the 400 companies that previously focused on the Chinese market.

However, as the outlook for the upcoming peak season is bright, we need to prepare for the recovery by resuming business correspondence to popular destinations such as Phuket this month,” said Mr Csidivachar.

WATCH: Thailand braces for massive influx of tourists

Mr Atta will lead 170 tour operators to Phuket this weekend to arrange business meetings with 70 to 80 local hotels.

He said tour operators and hotels should work together to assess last quarter’s tourism demand and prepare their services to avoid supply shortages, as most hotels in Phuket have been closed for more than two years.

Source: Bangkok Post

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