Scandinavian charter airline sees record bookings

PHUKET: Copenhagen-based My Travel Airways, one of Europe’s largest charter operators, is seeing record bookings to Phuket for the imminent high season, says its Head of Information, Torben Andersen.

“The sales situation in Scandinavia is very good,” Mr Andersen told the Gazette by email. “In Denmark we have sold seven out of 10 seats for the coming season. That is 10-15% more than at the same time last year. In Sweden we are selling better than before the tsunami.”

The airline will have daily direct flights from Scandinavia to Phuket between October 25 and the end of April, Mr Andersen said. “Altogether [during the six months that will amount to] nearly 70,000 passengers.”

Suwalai Pinpradab, Director of the Phuket office of the Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT), said, “There are three charter airlines that bring most of the European visitors to Phuket: the Scandinavian tourists mostly come with My Travel, whereas the British and the Germans – our two biggest markets in Europe – come with Thomas Cook Airlines and LTU International Airways.”

She said, “We have done a lot of promotion since January to ensure that tourists [worldwide] come back to Phuket, including [letting people know about progress on] the disaster early warning system.”

She added that many airlines that stopped flying to Phuket after the tsunami will start again this month. These include Korean Airlines, Asiana, Dragonair, Thai Airways International [so far for Perth, Osaka and Tokyo only], Austrian Airlines, Southern China Airlines and China Airlines (Taiwan).

“Things will be almost back to normal this month,” she said. “Currently there are 46 landings and take-offs every day – or more than 300 a week.”

Phuket Tourist Association President Pattanapong Aikwanich said, “Judging from current bookings, hotel occupancy from now until the end of the year will be around 50% – which is good news – and we expect from the New Year until the end of March it will be 80% to 90%.

“The charter airlines are returning to Phuket, and we believe that most of the passengers are plain tourists; those coming here for the tsunami commemorations are only a small percentage.”

Phuket News

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