Phuket sees 292 flights, 21,545 passengers under sandbox travel scheme
As of August 15, a total of 292 flights touched down in Phuket since its tourism sandbox programme started on July 1, Transport Ministry statistics showed.
The statistics also showed that the flights brought in 21,545 passengers, 18,654 of whom are foreign tourists.
The sandbox scheme reopened Phuket to foreign visitors in a bid to breathe new life into its ravaged tourism industry. Vaccinated tourists can fly into Phuket and move around freely in the province without having to quarantine. After spending 14 days there and if they still test negative, the tourists can then travel to other parts of Thailand. The 14-day rule is now being reduced to 7 days to attract more international visitors.
Meanwhile, the Civil Aviation Authority of Thailand (CAAT) reported this week that the three airlines operating the most flights to Phuket are Singapore Airlines, Qatar Airways and Emirates.
According to CAAT, international flights to Phuket during the period came from 17 cities – Singapore (76), Doha (34), Dubai (28), Abu Dhabi (21), Tel Aviv (15), Kuala Lumpur (14), Frankfurt (13), London (7), Zurich (7), Paris (7), Copenhagen (5), Hong Kong (3), Phnom Penh (2), Vientiane, Taipei, Sharjah and Yangon (one each).
CAAT said that from August 5-17, Phuket saw 18 domestic flights operated by Nok Air to U-Tapao airport in Rayong province, carrying a total of 586 passengers.
Domestic travel to Phuket has been banned by the province since August 3 as a part of extra strict Covid-19 preventive measures, with exception to tourists under the sandbox programme and emergency vehicles.