TAT welcomes Air India's first Delhi-Phuket flight
15.12.2023 Thailand Phuket   82
TAT welcomes Air India's first Delhi-Phuket flight

Tourism Authority Thailand (TAT) held a special ceremony at the airport in honor of Air India's first flight from Delhi to Phuket. The first flight AI378, landing at 07.10, was greeted with a water cannon salute as it taxied to the gate, where arriving passengers were then greeted by officials and dignitaries, as well as traditional Thai dancing.

Mr Sophon Souvannarath, Governor of Phuket, said: “As Phuket enters its high tourist season and visa-free regime, it is fantastic to welcome new Air India flights that will provide direct air access for Indian travellers. This famous island resort has already become a favorite destination for Indian travelers with beautiful beaches and a host of attractions and activities including Carnival Magic, Andamanda and Aquaria. We look forward to welcoming even more Indian travelers to Phuket."

The Governor of Phuket presided over the welcoming ceremony along with officials and representatives from TAT and Phuket's public and private sectors.

Also present at the event, Ms. Patsi Permvongseni, Executive Director, TAT, ASEAN, South Asia and South Pacific said, “The Air India connection will provide convenient connectivity between Delhi and the world famous resort island of Phuket, which is recognized as a favorite destination for Indian travelers. Now is a particularly opportune time for Indian travelers to visit Thailand to take advantage of the temporary tourist visa waiver, which is available until May 10, 2024.”

From December 15, 2023, Air India will operate flights on the Delhi route -Phuket with four flights per week every Monday, Wednesday, Friday and Sunday. From January 2024, the service will become daily.

The flight will be operated on an A320 neo aircraft with 162 seats, of which 150 in economy class and 12 in business class. Flight AI 378 will depart Delhi at 01.10 and arrive in Phuket on the same day at 07.10. Return flight AI 379 will depart Phuket at 08:10 and land in Delhi at 10:50 on the same day.

Air India currently operates 26 flights to Bangkok per week, including daily direct flights flights from Delhi and Mumbai and six flights per week from Kolkata. The new Delhi-Phuket flight will provide convenient air connectivity between the two cities for tourism and trade and will further support Air India's expansion plans in East and South-East Asia.

Air India's last flight between Delhi and Phuket is part of a total capacity of 2,438,043 air seats between Thailand and India in 2023, a 77% increase over pre-pandemic 2019. Specifically, during the six-month visa-free period (November 2023-May 2024), the number of flights between the two countries will increase by 3.4% to 6,263 flights, and the number of seats will increase by approximately 1.27% to 1,312,649 seats.

TAT expects the visa waiver to encourage Indian travelers to travel more to Thailand and has launched promotional activities to drum up interest. From now until March 31, 2024, TAT's New Delhi office is offering customized subsidies for corporate and incentive groups, as well as weddings and functions. Meanwhile, TAT's Mumbai office will promote special travel packages with partners for repeat visitors and golfers, and launch various promotional projects to increase market awareness of Thailand as a wedding destination.

With From 1 January to 10 December 2023, Thailand recorded 1,506,287 arrivals from India, making it the fourth largest source of visitors. This number has already exceeded TAT's "best case scenario" forecast of 1,425,000 visitors for the full year.

With the visa-free regime, TAT expects the number of Indian tourists to increase between November and December 2023 by 4.3%, or 70,000 more travelers, bringing the total number of Indian tourists for the full year to 1,664,483.

Source: tatnews

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