Charter flights to Phuket and Pattaya filled with Russian tourists

PHOTO: Prachachat

Charter flights to Thailand’s hotspots of Phuket and Pattaya are being filled with Russian tourists. The chairman of the Chonburi Council of Tourism Industry, Thanet Suparashasrangsi, said…

“The Azur Airline will start bringing in charter flights from November 26 on B757 carriers, which can hold about 202 passengers and will improve the number of tourists in Pattaya significantly.”

Russia’s Ikar Airline is also filling up with Russian tourists, The Pattaya News reported.

The number of Russian tourists flying to Thailand is expected to reach 1 million next year, according to the deputy governor of the Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT), Siripakorn Cheawsamoot. Siripakorn said that many Russian airlines had resumed charter flights to Thailand.

Chairman Thanet said that Pattaya’s tourism will largely benefit from Russian charter flights to the U-Tapao International Airport. He expected the city’s hotel occupancy rate to jump to 60% over its current average rate of 40-50%.

Earlier this month, it was reported that Russians made up Phuket’s biggest group of tourists so far in November. From November 1-10, Phuket saw 18,370 Russian tourists. Last month, the first direct flights from Moscow to Phuket International Airport resumed.

Less than two weeks after Russian airlines made their triumphant return to Phuket, Aeroflot has announced an increase in direct flights to the island. The flagship airline of Russia announced on November 12 that it would be adding 14 new flights a week from Russia to Phuket.

Koh Samui also expects to see a surge in Russian tourism, especially in December. Russian tourism has been a big revenue-producing staple of Koh Samui but was stymied by the Covid-19 pandemic and then the Russian invasion of Ukraine.

The return of Russians is expected to bring a big boost to tourism on Koh Samui and the surrounding islands, Koh Pha Ngan and Koh Tao. Residents of Russia and other European countries that experience freezing cold winters are plotting their escape to the warm tropical weather in Thailand.

As of October 26, Thailand witnessed 7,349,843 international tourists arriving, surpassing the 7 million mark. It’s put the country within its goal range set by the TAT of 7 to 10 million visitors for 2022.

Pattaya NewsPhuket NewsTourism News

Tara Abhasakun

A Thai-American dual citizen, Tara has reported news and spoken on a number of human rights and cultural news issues in Thailand. She holds a Bachelor’s Degree in history from The College of Wooster. She interned at Southeast Asia Globe, and has written for a number of outlets. Tara reports on a range of Thailand news issues.

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