Saturday, December 16, 2017

Soon, Thailand beaches will be just a direct flight away

New Delhi: Indian leisure travellers will soon be able to fly to Thailand's popular beach resort towns Krabi and Pattaya directly, as the government has secured direct flight rights to these destinations for the country's airlines. "During negotiations, we have fetched rights for Indian carriers to fly to Samui and Utapao airports," said a senior aviation ministry official, who did not want to be quoted. While Samui is the airport for Krabi islands, Utapao is airport for Pattaya.

So long, Indian travellers had to fly to these destinations primarily through Bangkok because Indian carriers were not allowed to fly to these destinations. These rights were fetched at the ICAO Air Services Negotiation Event (ICAN) meet in Colombo last week. The Indian delegation was headed by aviation joint secretary Arun Kumar.

Sharat Dhall, chief operation officer at travel portal, said launching direct flights to Pattaya and Krabi will "surely see an uptick in people travelling to these destinations". These two destinations would also offer an opportunity for Indian carriers, especially the low-cost carriers, who primarily connect only to Bangkok, Dhall said. At the ICAN event, India and Thailand have also agreed to increase bilateral entitlements by 6,150 additional seats per year, which will apply once Indian carriers utilise 80% of the existing traffic right.
16/12/17 Mihir Mishra/Economic Times