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Aeroflot Resume Flights to Phuket

Published: August 1, 2022 at 10:50 pm

aeroloft landing in phuket

After suspending flights due to the Russian-Ukraine war, Aeroflot plans to resume service between Russia and Phuket. The Russian airline will launch daily flights from Moscow to Phuket starting October 30.

Aeroflot and other airline companies is Russia canceled their international travel schedule this year including flights from Russia to Phuket have been banned since March. Before the pandemic, Russian tourists were one of the major tourists in Phuket. Officials hope to see 1 million arrivals from Russia this year.

However, as of July 26, only 76,739 Russian tourists have visited Thailand.  Most of these tourists came within the initial 3 months of the year before the European Union placed sanctions on Russia for its invasion of Ukraine.

The governor of the Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) agrees that Russians want to visit Thailand.

“We discuss with travel companies specializing in the industry, and they have expressed confidence in Thailand’s demand. The only issue is the connectivity. If Russia’s Aeroflot will able to restart direct flights as scheduled and other carriers will follow in next few months, we may still expect a surge of visitors in the last quarter of the year.”

Thai AirAsia X and Thai Airways were keen to fill the hole left by the suspension of flights by Russian carriers but were unable to do so due to European sanctions. Due to the restrictions, insurers would not give coverage for flights to Russia and would be unable to receive replacement parts, technical assistance, or maintenance work.

The European Union has created an exemption for the International Civil Aviation Organization that will permit maintenance, repairs, and other support services beginning on July 27. The TAT is presently processing this latest decision and how it may permit airlines to resume operations.

The potential for Russians to return to Thailand and Phuket is a blessing for the ailing tourism sector, which saw 3.12 million tourists arrive in Thailand from the beginning of this year through July 26, which is slightly below the pre-pandemic levels. 10% of the 1,600 members of the Association of Thai Travel Agents have been able to restart their operations, according to the Association of Thai Travel Agents, which is preparing a meeting this weekend with more than 70 hotels in Phuket and 170 tour operators to support the sector.

400 travel-related businesses stay closed because they serve the Chinese market as they’re unable to travel to the Kingdom.  Few companies are shifting their focus from Chinese and Russian visitors to India and Malaysia, where over 380,000 visitors arrived this year.

With the reopening of the Aeroflot services, tourism officials still expect to attract 1 million Russian visitors to Phuket in the second half of this year.

SOURCE: Bangkok Post

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