Qatar makes it five in Thailand

DOHA, Qatar – Qatar Airways has confirmed it will start direct flights, 28 January 2018, to U-tapao airport, just 30 km south of  Pattaya on the Gulf of Thailand coast.

The four-weekly service from Doha to U-tapao will become the airline’s fifth route to Thailand.

It already flies to Bangkok, Krabi, Phuket and is scheduled to start a service to Chiang Mai, 12 December.

U-tapao is a navy-owned airport that was originally built during the Vietnam War to accommodate the US B52 bombers.

However, in recent years it has been identified as alternative airport to serve central Thailand and eastern seaboard tourist destinations such as Pattaya, island resorts in Rayong province (Samet) and also Chang Island in Trat province, near the border with Cambodia.

The Thai government recently announced a major development project for U-tapao airport that will also include fast rail services linking it to Bangkok’s two airports; Suvarnabhumi (BKK) and Don Mueang (DMK).

Initially, most of the passengers on the new service will be heading for Pattaya and nearby resorts along the Rayong coast from cities across Europe and the Middle East.

Qatar Airways Group Chief Executive, Akbar Al Baker said: “We are delighted to announce the launch of our newest route to Pattaya in Thailand, our fifth route to one of Southeast Asia’s most popular destinations. Thailand is continuing to grow in popularity with our passengers, who love travelling to this beautiful country to enjoy its incredible culture, cuisine and natural scenery.”

Qatar Airways will operate a Boeing 787 Dreamliner, with 22 seats in business class and 232 seats in economy class on flights between Doha and U-tapao International Airport, during the winter schedule months February,  March and April.

It has not provided any details of its summer timetable that comes into effect late April through to the end of September. But those months are popular with travellers from the Middle East, who visit Bangkok and Pattaya during Thailand’s rainy season.

Qatar Airways currently operates flights to three destinations in Thailand, with services 35 times a week to Bangkok, 14 times a week to Phuket and daily to Krabi (effective 1 December).

From 12 December 2017, Qatar Airways will also fly four times a week to Chiang Mai, which will take the airline’s weekly frequency to 60 flights a week.

Flight Schedule: U-tapao

Doha (DOH) to Pattaya (UTP) QR828 departs 2005, arrives 0630 (next day) – Monday, Wednesday, Friday. and Sunday

Pattaya (UTP) to Doha (DOH) QR829 departs 0750, arrives 1140 – Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday.