Direct flights from HK, Korea “coming in July’

PHUKET: Dragonair still has no plans to restore its direct Hong Kong-Phuket service, but no fewer than three other airlines are planning to start flights on the route, a Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) official has announced. The first of these will start flying as early as next month.

Anoma Wongyai, Assistant Director of the TAT office in Phuket, returned from Hong Kong early this week with the good news.

She told the Gazette, “We received good news about direct flight from Orient Thai, which will start the service in July. Another carrier, Hong Kong Express, will start in August.

Hong Kong Express is owned by Macau casino tycoon Dr Stanley Ho.

“[Hong Kong-based] CR Airways is planning its schedule. However, it will test the route for a month and if the demand is strong enough it will carry on flying,” K. Anoma said.

“We spoke with Dragonair, but they said they would not resume direct service to Phuket. I understand that the airline has just opened a new route from Hong Kong to China and therefore does not have enough aircraft [to serve the Hong Kong-Phuket route].

“They also said that there is insufficient passenger demand on the route to justify resuming it,” she added.

She also announced good news for those involved in the South Korean tourism market. “Thai Airways International will resume flying its direct route between Seoul and Phuket in July. In October it will start direct flights between Phuket and Pusan as well,” she said.

K. Anoma was accompanied to Hong Kong by Vice-Governor Vorapot Rattasima, Phuket Airport Director Sq/Ldr Pornchai Eua-aree and a group of 20 representatives of tourism businesses in Phuket, Krabi and Phang Nga who put on a “road show” while in Hong Kong.

“We chose Hong Kong because it is a good target market. Tourists from Hong Kong have a lot of purchasing power that will help generate income for Phuket. We need people from Hong Kong to come back to Phuket again,” K. Suwalai said.

“I expect to get good feedback from this project,” she added.

Phuket News
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Archiving articles from the Phuket Gazette circa 1998 - 2017. View the Phuket Gazette online archive and Digital Gazette PDF Prints.

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