PHUKET TOWN: Phuket Tourist Association President Pattanapong Aikwanich believes Thai Airways should only fly international routes and leave domestic flights to smaller, more competitive airlines. He aired this belief today in welcoming the return of Phuket Air to two local high-season routes, adding that if aviation were divided in this way, Phuket would more quickly become a hub for southern air services. “The more airlines that come into Phuket, the more convenient it will be for both Thais and foreigners,” he said, “especially when there’s a convention center in Phuket.” Phuket Air is to renew high-season flights from Phuket to Haad Yai and Ranong, parent company Phuket Airlines announced. The two services will resume on December 5 and continue until March 26. Phuket Air, established in 2001, has set the following schedule for flights on Mondays, Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays. • Phuket-Ranong: depart Phuket 6:10 pm, arrive Ranong 7:30 pm; depart Ranong 10 am the following day, arrive Phuket 11:20 am. • Phuket-Haad Yai: depart Phuket 12:10 pm, arrive Haad Yai 1:40 pm; depart Haad Yai 2:30 pm, arrive Phuket 4 pm. The airline will also run flights between Chiang Mai and Chiang Rai twice daily. From October 23, the airline will also increase the frequency of its Bangkok-Krabi service from four times a week to seven. THAI also flies to Haad Yai and Krabi, though not to Ranong.
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