Cathay Pacific flies in 150 tourists on inaugural flight to Phuket
Phuket welcomed Cathay Pacific’s inaugural flight from Hong Kong on Tuesday, which flew in 150 tourists under the province’s sandbox programme. The flight will be operated once a week, said Nantasiri Ranasiri, the director of the Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT), Phuket office.
Cathay Pacific Airways’ Flight CX771 landed at Phuket International Airport at 10.40am on August 10. The flight was sprayed with water in a welcome ceremony.
Phuket International Airport director Thanee Chuangchoo, along with TAT's Nantasiri, Cathay Pacific’s station agent and airport staff greeted the passengers at Gate No 11.
These tourists are long-distance travellers from the US, Canada and Europe, Nantasiri told reporters.
“This shows that despite the Covid-19 situation in Thailand, tourists are still coming in. It also shows TAT’s promotion of Phuket has proven successful,” she said.
“The murder of a Swiss tourist has not yet affected the sandbox scheme. But we will be conducting an evaluation,” Nantasiri said.
“There are currently seven airlines including Cathay Pacific operating flights to Phuket under the scheme. Most are long-distance flights connecting the countries where the airlines are based in, such as Qatar, Abu Dhabi and Singapore. Thai Airways is also operating flights to Phuket directly from Europe, linking London, Frankfurt and Copenhagen,” she added.
Some 18,654 foreign tourists entered Phuket under the sandbox programme from July 1 to August 9.
A total of 353,529 hotel room nights have been booked from July to September, with 190,843 room nights in July, 143,566 in August and 19,120 so far for September. Meanwhile, almost 10,000 room nights have been booked from October 2021 to February 2022.