Flights from Myanmar arrive in Phuket

Photo by Phuket International Airport Facebook.

A Burmese airline launched a new flight from Yangon to Phuket International Airport. The flight will run on Thursdays and Sundays. Myanmar Airways International introduced the flight at a press briefing, the Bangkok Post reported yesterday.

The new flight aims to help migrant workers and long-stay tourists. Migrant workers in Phuket who wish to return home can purchase a one-way ticket to Yangon for 4,700 baht, according to MAI Sales and Marketing Manager Sathit Rodnimit. Sathit said that many legal migrant workers want to visit their hometowns in Myanmar.

Sathit added that the flight is also aimed at international tourists in Phuket. He said the price of a round-trip ticket “starts at 6,000 baht with 30 kilograms of checked-in luggage.”

Phuket’s Deputy Governor Pichet said that there are currently 47,000 migrant workers in Phuket applying for work permits. He noted, however, that he also hopes that high-income Burmese tourists will also come to Phuket.

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In July, the Department of Employment director-general, Pairoj Chotikasathien, said there were about 2.5 million documented migrant workers in Thailand. That month, the Cabinet approved labour management plans including allowing documented workers from Cambodia, Laos and Myanmar to stay until February 13, 2025.

The vast majority of Burmese migrants in Thailand are economic migrants, however, some Burmese migrants also arrive here fleeing persecution. This is particularly true of minority groups such as the Karen hill tribe. A survey conducted by the Thai Ministry of Interior found that 4.3% of the illegal labour migrants from Myanmar and Cambodia came to Thailand because of political (persecution) and conscription of labour.

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Tara Abhasakun

A Thai-American dual citizen, Tara has reported news and spoken on a number of human rights and cultural news issues in Thailand. She holds a Bachelor’s Degree in history from The College of Wooster. She interned at Southeast Asia Globe, and has written for a number of outlets. Tara reports on a range of Thailand news issues.

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