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Chiang Mai airport welcomes first international flight, 83 tourists

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PHOTO: Chiang Mai welcomes the first international flight. (via Panumet Tanraksa)

Chiang Mai has officially joined Thailand’s big reopening launch as the first international flight brought tourists to the “Charming Chiang Mai” programme. After nearly 2 years of being closed to international flights, Chiang Mai Airport welcomed a flight of 83 travellers from South Korea last night.

The first flight was operated by Korean carrier Jeju Air and departed from Seoul’s Incheon Airport at 6:40 pm to arrive into Chiang Mai yesterday evening just after 10 pm, landing about 20 minutes ahead of schedule, a 5 and a half hour flight with Korea’s time zone 2 hours ahead of Thailand.

The province welcomed the flight with fanfare including a water tunnel commonly used to greet the first flight at an airport, and then passengers were met by the Deputy Governors of both Chiang Mai and the Tourism Authority of Thailand, along with the airport director and other officials.

After the excited greeting, passengers went through a temperature checkpoint and a document check, with most travellers using the Certificate of Entry process before the new Thailand Pass option had launched. After navigating through the Covid-19 arrival procedure along with normal customs and immigration steps, the group of Korean tourists were given souvenir gifts from the TAT before proceeding to their hotels.

Chiang Mai’s reopening is limited, with only 4 districts accessible to tourists travelling on sealed routes. Travellers can visit Doi Tao, Mae Rim, Mae Taeng, and Mueang districts currently. The province is currently battling a Covid-19 surge with today’s 4 deaths and 487 new infections the most infections for any region in Thailand except Bangkok and the national prison system.

Jeju Air will operate this same flight every Friday and the airport plans to see more international flights to come in the near future.

SOURCE: Bangkok Post

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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.

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