Connect with us


Charter flights from Phuket approved by CAAT for Sandboxers

Neill Fronde



PHOTO: Thai Smile leads the approval of charter flights to and from Phuket. (via

A new chance for travel out of the Phuket Sandbox was just approved as the Civil Aviation Authority of Thailand announced they will allow airlines to schedule charter flights between Phuket to Bangkok. The permission granted comes after Thai Smile petitioned the government to allow a flight on August 14 to assist people who travelled into the Phuket Sandbox, but then found themselves in a bind when Covid-19 flared around the country and partial lockdowns and domestic travel restrictions began to blanket the country.

The decision from the CAAT to allow the flight and open the door to other charter flights relieves the situation where Sandbox travellers who scheduled a flight out of Bangkok Suvarnabhumi Airport and now couldn’t fly to meet their international flight. There was a bus service launched to transport people on the roughly 12 to 13-hour drive from Phuket to the Bangkok airport, but it’s a feeble substitute for the hopper flight that takes less than an hour and a half.

In order to follow the Centre for Covid-19 Situation Administration disease control measures, the CAAT announced all domestic flights to or from any destination in a designated dark red zone should be grounded. But exceptions were made for Sandbox programs like Phuket and Koh Samui, allowing feeder flights that connected the Sandbox areas reopened to international tourists to the air traffic hub of Bangkok in order to shuffle international travellers in and out of Thailand.

The exception made for Sandbox flights didn’t stop many airlines from cancelling flights to and from Phuket, as they suspended their entire fleet of flights and didn’t have passenger numbers to justify regular service with large planes. The CAAT announcement allows airlines to circumvent normal scheduling and request for special charter flights to land or depart at the Phuket airport.

The only options to leave Phuket to the Bangkok area now are the long bus ending soon, or Nok Air’s scheduled flight to U-Tapao Airport outside Pattaya, several hours away from Bangkok. The option for charter flights will allow airlines to schedule one-off flights directly to Suvarnabhumi when there is enough passenger demand.

The first of these flights will be a Thai Smile flight at 2:30 pm on August 14, arriving in Bangkok at 4 pm, and costs 4,300 baht including all taxes and fees and 20 kilogrammes of baggage. The flight is booked by a special Google Form with payment made to a WE account.

SOURCE: The Phuket News

For more information on Travel Insurance, CLICK HERE


Get more from The Thaiger

📱 Download our app on Android or iOS
👋 Have your say on our Thailand forums
🔔 Subscribe to our daily email newsletter
📺 Subscribe / Join YouTube for daily shows
👍 Like/Follow us on Facebook
🐦 FOLLOW us on Twitter
📷 FOLLOW us on Instagram


Join the conversation and have your say on Thailand news published on The Thaiger.

Thaiger Talk is our new Thaiger Community where you can join the discussion on everything happening in Thailand right now.

Please note that articles are not posted to the forum instantly and can take up to 20 min before being visible. Click for more information and the Thaiger Talk Guidelines.

Neill is a journalist from the United States with 10 years broadcasting experience and national news and magazine publications. He graduated with a degree in journalism and communications from the University of California and has been living in Thailand since 2014.

Follow Thaiger by email:

Thailand25 mins ago

Songkhla motorcycle showroom catches on fire, no injuries reported

Phuket44 mins ago

Covid-19 prison death yesterday the second this week in Phuket

Thailand1 hour ago

Unemployed Bangkok chef arrested after allegedly trying to sell rare butterflies to undercover agents

Welcome back to Thailand!

Thaiger is getting behind local businesses for the restart of tourism in Thailand - up to 50% discounts across all advertising packages!

Coronavirus (Covid-19)2 hours ago

Phuket Covid-19: 1 Phuket Prison death, 1 Sandbox infection

Central Thailand2 hours ago

Bovine attack kills forest ranger in Khao Yai National Park

Thailand4 hours ago

Korat Police allegedly use police van for trip to beach

Join the conversation on the Thaiger Talk forums today!
Thailand4 hours ago

Kalasin man allegedly robs convenience store and then a gold shop the next day before being arrested

Coronavirus (Covid-19)6 hours ago

Sunday Covid Update: 117 deaths and 13,576 new cases

Tourism21 hours ago

Local businesses say they aren’t profiting from Phuket Sandbox

Crime21 hours ago

Woman shot by stray gunfire during motorcycle shooting

Phuket23 hours ago

Phuket pair arrested in possession of meth pills, homemade gun

Coronavirus (Covid-19)23 hours ago

Prayut to propose to CCSA to reopen theatres, allow filmmaking

Coronavirus (Covid-19)24 hours ago

Saturday Covid-19 UPDATE: Select provincial totals

Transport1 day ago

Woman dresses as astronaut to show moon-like road condition

Coronavirus (Covid-19)1 day ago

CCSA announces vaccination goals for October; 50% inoculated

Morning Top Stories Thailand | Police to end protests, Human Trafficking | September 14 | Thaiger
Thailand5 days ago

Morning Top Stories Thailand | Police to end protests, Human Trafficking | September 14

Thailand7 months ago

Thailand News Today | Thai Airways in rehab, All go for Songkran | March 4

Tourism7 months ago

Phuket’s nightlife. Yes, bars and clubs are still open | VIDEO

Phuket7 months ago

Thailand News Today | Covid passport talks, Thai Airways heads to court | March 2

Tourism7 months ago

Phuket Thai food treats you need to try | VIDEO

Thailand7 months ago

Thailand News Today | Bars, pubs and restaurants ‘sort of’ back to normal | Feb 23

Tourism7 months ago

In search of Cat & Dog Cafés in Phuket Town | VIDEO

Thailand8 months ago

Thailand News Today | Gambling crackdown, Seafood market to reopen, Vlogger challenge | Jan 21

Thailand8 months ago

Thailand News Today | Covid testing for visas, Business impact, Vaccine approval | January 19

Thailand8 months ago

Thailand News Today | Weekend Bangkok bombs, Thailand fires, Covid update | January 18

Thailand8 months ago

Thailand News Today | Stray car on runway, Indonesian quake, 300 baht tourist fee | January 15

Thailand8 months ago

Thailand News Today | Governor off respirator, sex-trafficking arrest, condo prices falling | January 14

Thailand8 months ago

Thailand News Today | Chinese vaccine, Thailand ‘drug hub’, Covid update | January 13

Thailand8 months ago

Thailand News Today | Bangkok may ease restrictions, Phuket bar curfew, Vaccine roll out | January 12

Thailand8 months ago

Thailand News Today | Covid latest, Cockfights closed down, Bryde’s Whale beached | January 11