BANGKOK, 14 September 2023: Thai Airways International (THAI) chief executive officer backs Prime Minister Chai Eamsiri Srettha Thavisin’s pledge to give Indian and Chinese tourists a visa-free entry pass to rescue tourist arrivals from the doldrums.
Within days of taking office, the PM surprised the tourism industry by saying he would introduce visa-free entry from the country’s two major markets for the peak season from November 2023 to the end of April 2023.
It will be a temporary measure to reinvigorate the country’s tourism growth pace.
Jumping on the PM’s policy bandwagon, THAI’s CEO says seat capacity on the Bangkok to Phuket route will increase. At least one daily service will have an aircraft upgrade from the 180-seat A320 to the Boeing 777 – 200 ER with a total of 292 passengers – 30 seats in Royal Silk Class and 262 seats in Economy Class starting 1 October 2023 with details as follows:
• Bangkok – Phuket: TG201 departs from Bangkok at 0800 and arrives in Phuket at 0925.
• Phuket – Bangkok: TG202 departs from Phuket at 1020 and arrives in Bangkok at 1150.
When combined with THAI Smile Airways’ 49 A320 weekly flights on the Bangkok – Phuket route, THAI will offer 56 weekly flights.
THAI also plans to increase flight frequencies to destinations in China from 49 to 56 flights per week starting 1 December 2023 in response to the planned easing of visa for Chinese tourists.
• Bangkok – Beijing operations will be six flights per week during 29 October – 30 November 2023 and will increase to daily flights on 1 December 2023.
• Bangkok – Shanghai operations will be daily from 29 October 2023 to 30 March 2024.
• Bangkok – Guangzhou operations will be daily from 29 October 2023 to 30 March 2024.
• Bangkok – Kunming operations will be three flights per week from 20 October to 30 November 2023 and will increase to daily on 1 December 2023.
• Bangkok – Chengdu operations will be two flights weekly from 20 October to 30 November 2023 and will increase to daily flights on 1 December 2023.
Meanwhile, THAI will take over all Thai Smile routes by early 2024 as the low-cost subsidiary is merged with the parent airline Thai Airways International to stem losses.
The transfer of operations from Thai Smile to THAI starts with nine routes from Bangkok to Krabi, Khon Kaen, Phuket, Narathiwat, Chiang Mai, Chaing Rai, Haad Yai, Udon Thani, and Ubon Ratchathani.
Bangkok – Phuket: Eight flights daily starting 1 October using the A320 aircraft plus one flight daily using a Boeing 777-200.
Bangkok – Chiang Mai: Five flights daily starting 29 October.
Bangkok – Udon Thani: Three flights daily starting 1 December.
Bangkok – Krabi: Two flights daily starting 1 January 2024.
Bangkok – Khon Kaen: Four flights daily starting 1 January 2024.
Bangkok – Narathiwat: One flight daily starting 1 January 1 2024.
Bangkok – Chiang Rai: Two flights daily starting 1 January 2024.
Bangkok – Hat Yai: Three flights daily starting 1 January 2024.
Bangkok – Udon Ratchathani: Two flights daily starting 1 January, 2024