Thailand’s Surat Thani Airport welcomes chartered flight from Taiwan

Khao Sok National Park via @tawatchai07 (Freepik)

A chartered Thai Lion Air flight carrying 143 tourists from Taiwan landed at Surat Thani Airport in southern Thailand yesterday. It was the first chartered flight to land on the airport’s runway in three years.

Surat Thani Governor Wichawut Jinto welcomed passengers on flight SL-7391 from Taipei yesterday evening, handing out flower garlands and gifts to tourists to celebrate the occasion.

Governor Wichawut said…

“It is the first chartered flight in three years since the Covid-19 situation. Therefore, we wanted to give tourists a warm welcome.

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“We are ready to welcome tourists to Surat Thani province, where there are charming tourist attractions and activities both on the mainland and on the islands that attract foreign tourists here.”

Airlines in Russia and China are looking to boost their flights to Surat Thani too, added the governor.

In February, chartered flights from Chengdu in China will fly tourists directly to Koh Samui International Airport, said governor Wichawut.

The Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) arranged special activities for the Taiwanese tourists, who will travel to Surat Thani province for five days and four nights – visiting Surat Thani City, Ang Thong, Koh Samui, Koh Tao, and Koh Nang Yuan, before returning to Taipei, according to Surat Thani Director for the TAT Nanthawan Siriphokhapahat.

After Beijing dropped some of the toughest Covid restrictions in the world in December, Chinese tourism to Thailand is making a comeback.

Last week, five airlines launched direct flights between Phuket in southern Thailand to various locations in China. The services connect Phuket to Shanghai, Nanjing, and Chengdu.

Over the Lunar New Year, 240 scheduled flights landed in Thailand from China, an average of 34 every day.

The Thai baht appreciated to a nine-month high of 32.65 against the dollar on Friday ahead of the Lunar New Year weekend.

More flights, more tourists and a strong currency signals an onward and upward recovery of Thailand’s tourism industry.

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Leah is a translator and news writer for the Thaiger. Leah studied East Asian Religions and Thai Studies at the University of Leeds and Chiang Mai University. Leah covers crime, politics, environment, human rights, entertainment, travel and culture in Thailand and southeast Asia.

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