Empty Emirates plane lands in Phuket, first international flight since lockdown

An empty Emirates Airlines plane landed at the Phuket International Airport, the first international arrival at the airport since the Covid-19 lockdown was put in place 7 months ago. While no passengers were onboard the aircraft, flight EK376 was welcomed by a “water cannon salute” and landed while PM Prayut Chan-o-cha was visiting the airport, according to a Facebook post by Emirates announcing the landing.

“Today we became the first international airline to touch down in Phuket since its re-opening for international travel. Our special flight to Phuket signals the re-start of tourism in the popular island destination since Thailand re-opened its borders for international travelers.”

The Emirates flight originated from Dubai and landed in Bangkok before flying to Phuket. Another international flight, Qatar Airways flight QR978 from Doha, is expected to arrive in Phuket tomorrow.

Both Emirates and Qatar Airways collaborated with Thailand’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs to offer the “semi-commercial flights” for business travellers as well as long stay residents.

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SOURCE: Phuket News

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Caitlin Ashworth

Caitlin Ashworth is a writer from the United States who has lived in Thailand since 2018. She graduated from the University of South Florida St. Petersburg with a bachelor’s degree in journalism and media studies in 2016. She was a reporter for the Daily Hampshire Gazette In Massachusetts. She also interned at the Richmond Times-Dispatch in Virginia and Sarasota Herald-Tribune in Florida.

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