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Private jets to rise in Phuket

Legacy Phuket Gazette

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Private jets to rise in Phuket | Thaiger
Phuket NEWS Hound

– A daily, pocket-sized packet of news from around the world, compiled by Phuket Gazette reporters for foreigners who want it short, sharp and straight to the point.

PHUKET: Thai business aircraft operator MJets has opened the country’s first dedicated fixed-base operation (FBO) at Bangkok’s Don Mueang airport to exploit the growing demand for business aviation throughout the South-East Asian country.

According to flightglobal.com, the executive lounge includes showers, a business centre for passengers and pilots, and flight planning and pilot briefing facilities.

“The business jet market in Thailand is growing. In addition to the jets that we have, several local tycoons and air charter companies are interested in buying more jets or trading up to a bigger aircraft. A variety of aircraft are being purchased in Thailand,” says MJets spokesman Navdeepak Vaid.

MJets is also keen to set up an FBO on Phuket Island, one of Thailand’s premier holiday destinations. It was not immediately clear where that FBO would be located, but Phuket International Airport is the only facility in the province with a runway capable of handling jets. The only other runway currently on the island is the 500-metre grass strip at the privately owned Phuket Airpark in Pa Khlok.

Asia Pacific air travel now world’s busiest

Asia Travel Tips
According to the International Air Transport Association (IATA), air travel in the Asia Pacific region, and Thailand therein, surpassed North America for the first time in 2009, numbering 647 million passengers compared to the 638 million who had traveled within North America.

By 2013, IATA predicts an additional 217 million travelers – both business and leisure – will fly within Asia Pacific.

Within Thailand, Phuket International Airport ranks as the third busiest air terminal in the nation, following Bangkok’s Suvarnphumi and Don Mueung airports, respectively.

A major, 5-billion baht expansion of Phuket airport was announced in 2008. The expansion would increase the facility’s capacity to 12.5 million passengers per year, up from roughly 6 million last year. For the Phuket Gazette’s latest story on that project, click here.

Phuket hotels booming

Hotel News Now
Hotels in the Asia/Pacific region, most notably in Phuket, Thailand, experienced increases in all three key performance metrics for February 2010, according to data compiled by STR Global.

In year-on-year measurements, the Asia/Pacific region’s occupancy rose 4.7 percent to 60.6 percent, with the average daily rate rising 16.2 percent and revenue per available room jumping 21.6 percent.

Highlights from key market performers for February 2010 include Phuket, which ended the month with the largest occupancy increase, rising 35.9 percent to 85.3 percent, followed by Bangkok (up 23.1 percent to 70.1 percent) and Bali (up 20.2 percent to 70.3 percent).

Thai economy in boom

Business Week
Thailand’s stock index, Asia’s best performer this month, will outperform other Southeast Asian markets as its valuations and easing political concerns draw more foreign investors, according to JPMorgan Chase & Co. The improving economic outlook will boost first-quarter earnings of Thai companies, and gains in the baht will lift the market’s valuation, the brokerage said.

Overseas investors bought 40.3 billion baht more Thai stocks than they sold in the past 20 days, stock exchange data showed, as the number of anti-government protesters subsides. The baht has risen 2.2 percent this month, Asia’s third- best performing currency. All this considered, the economy may expand as much as 4.5 percent this year from a contraction of 2.3 percent in 2009, the bank said.

Thailand tops for hotels

Asia Travel Tips
The Wotif Group, operators of Phuket.com with a major office in Phuket, has announced that it is focused on developing Thailand as a key growth market.

Robbie Cooke, Managing Director and Group CEO of Wotif says, “Thailand is consistently popular with tourists across the world, and the last 6 months has seen the trend continue through our Wotif.com and AsiaWebDirect.com accommodation sites.

“Despite political unrest, we historically have seen bookings for Thailand bounce back quickly through our websites…. We have seen only a few cancellations from travelers following the recent events, and expect that while tourism may dip in the short term, overall we will see a good year if the situation stabilizes.”

Security laws extended

BBC
Special security powers have been extended for another week in Thailand.

The Internal Security Act (ISA) allows the country’s security forces to set up checkpoints, impose curfews and limit movement under the overall command of the military if needed. It was originally enforced across eight provinces, Phuket not among them, to prevent violence, but the extension now covers Bangkok and two  neighboring provinces.

“We think it has been an effective tool. Without it, I think the situation over the last seven or eight days would have been different and therefore we still need this tool to achieve our objective,” Thailand’s Prime Minister Abhisit Vejajjiva told reporters.

Phuket has been calm since the protests began two weeks ago, and there continue to be no known plans for any demonstrations in the island province.

— Gazette Editors

 

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

Coronavirus (Covid-19)

Phuket restrictions and bans to stay in place until end of May

Tim Newton

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Phuket’s list of current ‘Covid’ restrictions have been extended until at least May 31. All the current levels of restrictions will remain until the end of the month after the Phuket Governor announced the continuation of restrictions this afternoon.

Daily new infection numbers continue to add to the island’s total of 556 since the start of April. The island’s latest wave started after a series of events, mostly Bangkok partygoers flying down for parties at Café Del Mar in Kamala, Illusion and Shelter, both in Bangla Road. The parties were organised by a Thong Lor based events company called Kolour. The daily numbers, whilst relatively stable, have not been going down as officials were hoping.

The announcement also puts any hope of a July 1 ‘quarantine free’ tourism opening in severe doubt. The island’s vaccine roll out has also slowed since the initial flurry of enthusiasm. Only 22% of Phuket’s population has currently been vaccinated (a long way ahead of the rest of the country) whilst the minimum vaccination level has to reach 70% according to the Government before they will entertain the ‘Sandbox’ opening proposal.

Entry to the island, by road or air, will remain restricted and anyone without proof of vaccination or a current PCR Covid test (within 72 hours) will have to do a full 14 day quarantine period (after May 15). The rapid Covid tests that were being conducted at the airport and Tha Chatchai Checkpoint are being stopped from this Saturday.

Notably, following the story of foreigners in Cherngtalay being fined 6,000 baht each for hosting a party at their home on Sunday night, the ban on gatherings and parties will continue.

Meanwhile, the island has reported its first death during the third wave of cases since the start of April, and a new cluster of infections in the Phoon Pon district in Phuket Town. The man that died was a 71 year old man who died yesterday morning.

Phuket restrictions and bans to stay in place until end of May | News by Thaiger

 

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Coronavirus (Covid-19)

Covid-19 infections cast doubt on plan to reopen Phuket July 1

Neill Fronde

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FILE PHOTO: Phuket may not be ready to welcome back visitors July 1st.

With surging Covid-19 infections, the original plan for Phuket to reopen the international border to tourism on July 1st without quarantine may be unlikely. The governor warned today that the plan may be in jeopardy if they don’t reach the proposed May 15 goal of reducing infections to less than 10 each day. Governor Narong Woonciew called on everyone to work together to keep the infections down as the current rate of 10 to 15 per day will almost definitely delay the sandbox plan for international visitors to arrive in Phuket without quarantine in July.

Daily infections are on the rise in Phuket and high-risk people in local quarantine are still spreading infections, according to the provincial health officer’s assessment of the Covid-19 situation. During proactive screening an active case finding, new clusters of infections continue to be uncovered, a problem that has been attributed to continued partying and social gatherings that violate current Covid-19 restrictions. The health officials warned that, as a result, more aggressive actions may be necessary to control the spread of the Coronavirus in Phuket if it is to reopen in July.

Under the current restrictions of the Covid-19 emergency decree, even two people that aren’t from the same household joining together for socializing or mingling could be considered a gathering and punishable with legal action. Officials are speaking out about the threat of more Covid-19 outbreaks due to large gatherings, citing several events that were broken up recently.

One such group in Phuket garnered a lot of attention online with many people surprised that it was considered a gathering and busted up. A group of six British and Thai people that the police raided yesterday at a home in Thalang were reportedly drinking and celebrating. This is a violation of the disease decree and local Covid-19 safety measures, and 2 British nationals were charged a 6000 baht fine each.

SOURCE: The Pattaya News

 

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Patong

30 year old Thai woman found dead in car in Patong from apparent suicide

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Photo via The Phuket News

The Thaiger acknowledges that the names of the family and the contents of a suicide note were published in error in an earlier version of this story. We have spoken to the writer and can assure readers that this will never happen again. We apologise for the distress caused.

A 30 year old Thai woman has been found dead in her car, in Patong, from an apparent suicide. The woman’s car was parked by the side of the Sirirat Road, which links Patong and Karon. Police and rescue workers arrived at the scene to find the body of ‘Kanokwan’ (surname withheld), slumped in the driver’s seat of a Phuket-registered Honda Jazz.

Police say they found an electric pan with burnt charcoal behind the driver’s seat in the back. They say this was the cause of death as she likely died from asphyxiation. They also say they found a suicide letter.

The woman’s mother ‘Boonlap’ says that she has accepted her daughter’s death was from a probably suicide. Her body was taken to Patong Hospital for further examination before being released to her relatives for a funeral.

It is not known whether the Covid pandemic had any effect on Kanokwan but job losses, bankruptcies, sickness and fear are just a few of the side-affects during the Covid-19 pandemic.

For many in Thailand and all over the world, this has a profound impact on the mental health of everyday people. The suicide rate in Thailand has also seen a spike, with 22% more suicides recorded in the first half of 2020 when compared to the same period in 2019. A sharp increase not witnessed since the 1997 Asian Financial Crisis.

Even before the pandemic struck, Thailand was on record as having the most suicides of any country in SE Asia. As per WHO data, in 2019 Thailand’s suicide rate was 14.4 per 100k population, compared to a global average of 10.5 per 100k population.

If you or anyone you know is in emotional distress, please contact the Samaritans of Thailand at their 24-hour hotline 02-713-6791 (English), 02713-6793 (Thai) or Thai Mental Health Hotline at 1323 (Thai).

SOURCE: The Phuket News

 

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