PHUKET: Starting today, tour operators bringing tourists from Finland to Phuket expect to be running three charter flights a week until April, although the number of vacationers will be only half what they would have been if there had been no tsunami.
A spokesman for Royal Andaman Travel Group, the local partner of travel company Star Tour, said that around 230 Finns are due to arrive in Phuket each week. The bulk of them will be brought to Phuket on charter flights by national carrier Finnair.
“The first group should arrive here on February 14, direct from Helsinki,” the spokesman said on Saturday.
“They will be staying in Kata and Karon, although some will be going to Ao Nang in Krabi. Most of them will stay here for two weeks.”
The spokesman said the flights had been resumed after the Finnish government declared that Phuket was safe for its nationals.
“After they sent their officers to check that the area is safe, they decided to let the airline fly here again,” said the spokesman, “But if there hadn’t been a tsunami, we would be having twice as many Finnish visitors during this period.”
One of the companies arranging trips for Finns is My Travel. Phuket representative Andres Skoog told the Gazette the company expects to share flights – due to arrive in Phuket every Thursday and Sunday – with other operators.
“We’re bringing in so few tourists that we are sharing flights with other operators,” he said.
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