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Thai AirAsia launches Phuket-Singapore service

Legacy Phuket Gazette



Thai AirAsia launches Phuket-Singapore service | The Thaiger
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PHUKET: Low-cost carrier Thai AirAsia, an associate carrier of Malaysian low-fare airline AirAsia, yesterday launched a daily, direct flight service between Phuket and Singapore, offering promotional fares as low as 1,200 baht for advanced ticket purchases made over the Internet.

Flight FD 3028 departs Phuket at 9:30 am and arrives in Singapore at 12:10 pm local time. The return leg, Flight FD 3029, departs Singapore at 12:45 pm and reaches Phuket at 1:20 pm.

Thai AirAsia CEO Tossapon Bijleveld announced the new service at a press conference at the Novotel Coralia Phuket.

He said the daily service was launched in response to increased customer demand, as the former twice-weekly flights were booked to almost 80% capacity.

K. Tossapon said the airline has also added an extra flight from Bangkok to Singapore, bringing the number of direct daily flights between the two capitals to three.

Currently, the Bangkok-Singapore route is operating at 40%-50% capacity, but K. Tossapon expects the new service and related promotions to increase the figure to 70%-80% within three weeks.

About 110,000 Singaporeans flew on AirAsia flights from February 16 to November 3, he said, adding that he expects bookings to increase by as much as 30% as a result of the expanded Phuket-Singapore service, which will increase AirAsia’s daily capacity between Thailand and Singapore to 4,144 seats.

Tickets for the flights range in cost from 1,200 to 3,500 baht, depending on the how far in advance tickets are bought.

Tourism Authority of Thailand Region 4 Director Suwalai Pinpradab said that with the new service, the total number of incoming flights to Phuket between November and March will increase 26% compared with the same period last high season.

“Last year only 40,000 Singaporeans came to Phuket. However, the availability of low-cost flights, coupled with TAT promotions, could turn Phuket into a popular weekend shopping destination for Singaporeans and Malaysians,” she said.

TAT will continue to market Phuket as a shopping, food, spa and health tourism destination, she said, adding that the agency plans to attract more women and well-heeled visitors from Indonesia.

K. Suwalai said that the overall number of tourists visiting Phuket, both foreign and domestic, was about 2 million people during the first half of 2004 – an increase of about 15% compared with the same period last year. She expects about 500,000 more arrivals by year end, with Germany, Taiwan and the UK expected to be the three top sources of foreign tourists, respectively.

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Coronavirus (Covid-19)

As Thailand’s beaches reopen, crowds flock back

Jack Burton



As Thailand’s beaches reopen, crowds flock back | The Thaiger
PHOTO: Pattaya Unlimited

Yesterday, the Queen’s birthday and a public holiday, saw many of Thailand’s popular beaches heaving with visitors as they reopened for the first time since their closure by the Emergency Decree in March. People across the country took advantage of the easing of inter-provincial travel restrictions that took effect Monday. Chon Buri’s Bang Saen beach in Chon Buri was almost spilling over into the streets.

By the afternoon traffic jams extended more than 2 kilometres on roads leading to the beach, prompting Saen Suk municipality’s mayor to temporarily close them to clear the tailbacks and control visitor numbers. On his Facebook page, he explained the beach was too packed, making it virtually impossible to observe social distancing guidelines. He also posted aerial pictures of the beach showing vehicles blocking the entire stretch of road next to the beach. 3 of the road’s 4 lanes were clogged by parked cars.

Stressing that rules must be enforced, the mayor said that from today vendors and food hawkers can resume their trade along the beach, but the sale of alcohol will still be banned.

• 7 areas on the beach will be free of beach chairs, and where chairs are allowed, there must be plenty of space between them

• visitors are required to wear face masks at all times

• those renting chairs out are required to the body temperature of their customers and provide them with hand sanitiser gel

• non-chair areas are designated so people can enjoy the open spaces on the beach

Bang Saen beach, which attracts a lot of weekenders because it’s the nearest beach to Bangkok, will be closed on Mondays for cleaning. The municipal office says beach chairs may only be used on the beach on weekends.

Under the “new normal” regulations, visitors to all beaches must wear masks at all times while on the beach and leave by 11pm. It’s reported that at the busiest time yesterday, at least 5,000 visitors were at Bang Saen beach, and most had driven there. The mayor says authorities will block traffic on roads leading to it when necessary to control the numbers. The number of beachgoers sparked fears of a possible resurgence of Covid-19 infections.

A member Bang Saen beach’s Bang Saen White Sharks lifeguard team said the crowds left officials and resources overstretched trying to enforce the “new normal”.

• beaches in Hua Hin also churned back to life as seaside vendors and restaurants once again welcomed customers, many of them locals.

• in the eastern province of Trat, ferries were back in business moving tourists between the mainland and islands including the popular Koh Chang.

• Koh Samet in Rayong, just east of Chon Buri, remains closed as it’s located in a national park, although local tourism associations have appealed to the Department of National Parks, Wildlife and Plant Conservation to reopen it.

• Phuket’s beaches also remain closed

SOURCE: Bangkok Post

As Thailand's beaches reopen, crowds flock back | News by The Thaiger

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Coronavirus (Covid-19)

With all patients recovered, Phuket closes its Covid-19 field hospital

Jack Burton



With all patients recovered, Phuket closes its Covid-19 field hospital | The Thaiger
PHOTO: The Phuket News

So long, farewell. Phuket, which has had the highest number of Covid-19 infections per capita in Thailand, is closing its first “field hospital” after discharging its final patients. The temporary hospital is closing down, hopefully for good, and will be “put on standby,” as the last patients have recovered, the island’s governor announced yesterday.

The building was actually the unfinished new provincial HQ for the local Phuket government. The building’s completion has been stalled for years with uncompleted contracts and delays. But it has served an important purpose in housing the island’s Covid-19 patients and keeping them away from the main hospitals.

“Today is the day that Phuket has zero Covid-19 patients. I would like to thank all officials and Phuket residents for their efforts and cooperation to make our province finally Covid-19-free. Our next job is to rehabilitate the province’s economy, especially the tourism industry, which has been severely affected by the outbreak.”

The governor was joined at the closing ceremony by representatives from the Tourism Authority of Thailand’s Phuket Office, the Phuket Chamber of Commerce and the Phuket Federation of Industries to hand out 600 survival kits to local people affected by the Covid-19 crisis.

Phuket’s first field hospital was established in March with 104 beds in a two-storey building. It was staffed with medical professionals from 5 hospitals throughout the province. Some 123 Covid-19 patients were treated at the hospital and all have fully recovered and been discharged. None has tested positive again.

The second field hospital is also on standby, having released its last patient on May 15.

Since the outbreak started, Phuket has reported 227 confirmed Covid-19 cases. Of these, 224 patients recovered and 3 died.

With all patients recovered, Phuket closes its Covid-19 field hospital | News by The Thaiger

SOURCE: Nation Thailand

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Road deaths

2 killed after truck slams Phuket power pole – VIDEO

The Thaiger



2 killed after truck slams Phuket power pole – VIDEO | The Thaiger
PHOTO: Thai Rath

2 men are dead in Phuket after a truck slammed into a roadside power pole on the notorious Kata hill road, just out of Chalong yesterday. Police say the two men killed were a Thai and a Burmese national.

The deputy chief of Karon police says the accident occurred at about 4:50pm at the mouth of Soi Suksan 1 on Patak road – a windy section of road as it heads up the hill towards Kata Beach. The power pole fell across the road after being hit by the pick up truck, killing the man inside. He was identified as 31 year old Thanapon Prachit a native of Chaiyaphum province.

Another man, passing by on a motorbike, was seriously injured by the falling power pole. He was admitted to Chalong Hospital where but was pronounced dead. The passport found on him identified him as 28 year old Win Myo Hlaing from Myanmar.

The bodies of the victims were taken to Vachira Phuket Hospital for an autopsy.

SOURCE: Bangkok Post

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