Airlines allowed to fly chartered flights from Phuket to Suvarnabhumi
The Civil Aviation Authority of Thailand (CAAT) has allowed chartered flights from Phuket to land at Suvarnabhumi Airport to facilitate departure from the province for tourists visiting under the sandbox programme.
The CAAT explanation on Monday came after news of foreign tourists in Phuket having to travel by buses to Suvarnabhumi Airport in Samut Prakan province to catch a flight home, raising questions whether the CAAT had prohibited the flights from Phuket to Suvarnabhumi.
“On July 18, the CAAT barred domestic passenger flights to and from provinces classified as 'dark red' due to the Covid-19 situation, which includes Samut Prakan,” said the authority. “However, exceptions have been made for tourists under the Phuket sandbox programme who wish to leave the province.
“Chartered flights from Phuket can still land at Suvarnabhumi Airport to transport foreign passengers. However, so far no airline has applied to operate such flights from Phuket, probably due to low number of passengers, which could make the flight less cost effective,” it added.
The CAAT added that flights from Phuket to U-Tapao Airport in Rayong province are still available and could be an alternative for tourists under the sandbox programme.
“We have instructed airlines operating flights to U-Tapao to provide shuttle buses from U-Tapao to Suvarnabhumi, which should help tourists from Phuket who wish to return home while there are still no chartered flights available directly from Phuket,” the agency said.