As flights roll into Phuket International Airport today, the Sandbox scheme is slowly coming alive. Tomorrow (July 3) should see the arrival of the first European flights into the Phuket Sandbox reopening as Thai Airways welcomes 3 arriving flights. Overnight flights from Copenhagen and Frankfurt departing now should arrive in the early hours of the morning followed an hour later by a flight from Paris.
The Copenhagen flight has 53 economy passengers and 4 business class travellers, with 44 booked to stay in Phuket and 13 continuing to Bangkok, an increase from the 47 seats booked as of 2 days ago. The Frankfurt flight has 17 business class passengers and 72 economy travellers, so 89 more arrivals into Phuket, up a bit from 75 two days ago. The Paris flight saw a slight reduction from 47 seats to 39 economy and 6 business class seats.
Overnight flights from London and Zurich on Saturday will be the next to arrive it’s Phuket on the 4th. The Zurich flight had 41 seats booked as of 2 days ago and now has 52 economy and 7 business class tickets booked one day before take-off. London has been the most promising flight with previous data showing 145 tickets sold. Today 141 economy seats and 32 business class seats are booked.
In total, Thai Airways now has 410 seats booked on their first 5 flights back to Phuket from Europe. The original TAT prediction of 1,500 travellers for the first day of reopening may be met by the end of the weekend at least.
The influx of business class seats might also be a promising sign for Thailand, as the government has been focusing their tourism efforts on attracting more wealthy travellers who will pump more money into the country’s ailing economy.
Several more flights from the Middle East are scheduled to arrive tomorrow as well. Emirates has a scheduled afternoon arrival on the 3rd from Dubai, as well as the connecting flight via Bangkok in the evening. Qatar Airways also has a flight from Doha arriving in the afternoon, and Oman Air is scheduled to quietly resume service with an early evening arrival from the capital of Muscat, though it looks to be via Bangkok.
Turkish Airlines are also scheduled to launch their first return flight after the Covid-19 closures, with a flight from Istanbul arriving tomorrow afternoon. Singapore Airways will also operate their second flight into Phuket arriving just after 5 pm.
Some flight databases appear to show 3 flights scheduled for July 3 from India to Phuket on a budget carrier airline called Go First, but they appear to be a database error. Flight routes exist from Mumbai, Bangalore, and New Delhi, but the airline’s website does not have any scheduled for July. The Thaiger has reached out for comment, but the airline did not immediately reply.
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