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Qatar Airways to offer biweekly flights from Phuket to Doha

Caitlin Ashworth

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PHOTO: Qatar Airways

Things are starting to take off at the Phuket International Airport. Qatar Airways will resume bi-weekly flights from Phuket to Doha starting on December 4. The move is a major step forward after a halt of international travel to the island due to Covid-19 lockdown measures.

Last week, an empty Emirates Airlines flight landed in Phuket. Although it wasn’t carrying any passengers, it was the first international flight to land in Phuket since the lockdown.

Flights by Qatar Airways include QR978 which departs Doha at 2:45am and arrives in Phuket at 1:20pm, and QR841 which departs Phuket at 2:10am and arrives in Doha at 5:40am. In Bangkok, Qatar operates 14 weekly flights to Doha. If approved by the Thai government, Qatar will offer 7 flights to Phuket per week starting on December 10.

In a news release from Qatar Airways, vice president of sales for Southeast Asia, Jared Lee, says the airline is safe and abides by reliable Covid-19 prevention measures.

“Qatar Airways has proven itself to be a responsible and trusted airline during this crisis with excellent hygiene measures where onboard COVID-19 infection rate is at a negligible 0.012%. Thus, making Qatar Airways a very safe and reliable airline. As global entry restrictions ease, we look forward to reinstating more routes as we aim to operate to over 120 destinations by year-end to better connect Thai passengers to the rest of the world.”

SOURCE: Phuket News

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16 Comments

16 Comments

  1. Avatar

    Toby Andrews

    Friday, November 13, 2020 at 11:10 am

    Well it is another way to leave, but if they are Thai they have to have quarantine when they return.
    Do they want that?
    Ferangs might just be tempted to leave altogether on these convenient flights.
    They could be home for Christmas.

    • Avatar

      Issan John

      Friday, November 13, 2020 at 1:07 pm

      Farangs can leave any time, as they’ve always been able to – but many are “home”, and the last thing they want to do at the moment is leave.

      • Avatar

        Toby Andrews

        Friday, November 13, 2020 at 4:54 pm

        Some that have businesses in Phuket will be running out of money and patience waiting for the tourists to return.
        And don’t write rubbish. Ferangs have not been able to leave anytime.
        I was not able when my flight was cancelled due to the Thais stopping my flight arriving, and no commercial flights were allowed out!

        • Avatar

          Issan John

          Friday, November 13, 2020 at 7:59 pm

          Sorry, Toby, but you WERE able to leave and YOU LEFT, going across the land border to Cambodia when Thailand refused to extend your visa.

          The airport was closed, relatively briefly. That is NOT the same as not being able to leave – YOU LEFT!!

      • Avatar

        Mike

        Friday, November 13, 2020 at 5:32 pm

        Typical response from someone living in a bubble – of course, the visa amnesty was put in place for a reason.

        • Avatar

          Issan John

          Friday, November 13, 2020 at 8:00 pm

          Sorry, Toby, but you WERE able to leave and YOU LEFT, going across the land border to Cambodia when Thailand refused to extend your visa.

          The airport was closed, relatively briefly. That is NOT the same as not being able to leave – YOU LEFT!!

        • Avatar

          Issan John

          Friday, November 13, 2020 at 8:12 pm

          I’ve no idea what this “bubble” is you keep referring to.

          The visa amnesty was put in place because a lot of people (some 100,000) were unable to go home or would have been at risk from Covid if they did – not because they weren’t allowed to leave.

          Sorry to burst your bubble.

        • Avatar

          preesy chepuce

          Friday, November 13, 2020 at 9:28 pm

          I guess, technically, if you had a superyacht (or a space rocket), you could leave anytime, because there’s no land border closed, and no flight to worry about. But the cost of fuel and replenishments to get you back to Blighty, might rack up a bit, unless you get creative.

      • Avatar

        Khun plastic

        Friday, November 13, 2020 at 6:50 pm

        Wrong,

        many well reported cases in the international press of tourists being evicted from hotels that were closing and living in caves as they were unable to leave the area, mainly in South thailand.

        All were very thankful to the local Thai people who provided them with food.

        A disgrace.

      • Avatar

        James

        Saturday, November 14, 2020 at 12:54 am

        Issan John

        Yes, I agree.

        I was in Phuket from January 2020 to the end of August.

        It was nice to have a free automatic visa extension.

        My initial return date was the 31st of May but I decided to stay and then changed my return date with EvaAir to London for the end of June, then changed again out of choice to August, they even upgraded me from Premium Economy to BusinessCclass for free.

        Yes, people can leave but they pretend they can not for some strange reason.

  2. Avatar

    Jason

    Friday, November 13, 2020 at 2:56 pm

    Qatar Airways is doing an incredible job throughout the world at the moment and no doubt winning life long clients who will only fly with them because of their reliability. I hope to fly with them as soon as it is possible. But like so many others it won’t be to Thailand….. The Seychelles looks like a far better option!

    • Avatar

      Toby Andrews

      Friday, November 13, 2020 at 4:58 pm

      Jason, I had to sue Qatar for a one way ticket to the UK.
      I changed my return flight date and when I checked a day before, my flight was not there.
      No amount of copies of emails, or reference numbers did any good.
      I sued them with a lot of extra costs and they paid.

      • Avatar

        Khun plastic

        Friday, November 13, 2020 at 7:16 pm

        An unfortunate situation but at least you had somebody to threaten to sue and they paid up.
        Surprised it went that far.
        What do you think your chances of getting any satisfaction out of Thai would be?

    • Avatar

      preesy chepuce

      Friday, November 13, 2020 at 9:29 pm

      Qatar sell a lot of tickets – regardless of whether they can be used or not. I just got a refund the other day from a ticket I bought from them about 6 months ago. You know the reason Qatar are doing this is because they are embargoed by their neighbours, and need to court western sympathy.

  3. Avatar

    Perceville Smithers

    Friday, November 13, 2020 at 5:19 pm

    I used to like that airline a little better than Emirates. Their recent incident with the forced examinations on the tarmac in Doha will keep me from using them in the future.

    • Avatar

      Khun plastic

      Friday, November 13, 2020 at 6:37 pm

      Think Qatari government and not QR direct had a lot to do with that incident.
      True QR are a government owned company however is not quite the same thing.
      Do not lose site of the fact that a newborn baby was simply abandoned on an aircraft.
      Was a very difficult situation and I think it could have been handled better.
      Qatari government have made well publisised apologies and I expect very large financial compensation packages will be offered to all concerned.

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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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