The Middle Eastern Three (ME3) – Emirates, Etihad and Qatar Airways – have all relaunched flights to Phuket after the Tourism Authority of Thailand announced it will open the province to vaccinated tourists from July 1st. Emirates and Qatar Airways will offer a four-weekly service to Phuket, while Etihad will fly there three times a week.
Flights to Phuket to resume next month
Thailand has restricted access to foreign travelers since the beginning of the pandemic. However, the country is piloting its ‘Phuket Sandbox’ program, which will open up the province of Phuket to vaccinated tourists from July 1st. In response, the big three Middle Eastern airlines have all resumed services to the popular holiday destination.
Emirates – Dubai-Phuket four flights a week
Emirates will operate a four-weekly Dubai-Phuket service from July 2nd. Passengers will travel onboard a Boeing 777-300ER in a three-class configuration, with economy, business and first-class available.
Flight EK 378 – Dubai (DXB) to Phuket (HKT) departs 03:00, arrives 12:30 (Tuesday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday).
Flight EK 379 – Phuket (HKT) to Dubai (DXB) departs 00:10, arrives 03:05 (Wednesday, Saturday, Sunday, and Monday).
Etihad – Abu Dhabi-Phuket three flights a week
Etihad Airways will fly to Phuket three times a week from Abu Dhabi beginning July 1st. Operated by its Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner fleet, return fares start at AED 995 ($270) in economy and AED 6,995 ($1,904) in business class. There is limited availability for these promotional prices, so book as early as you can.
— Etihad Airways (@etihad) June 2, 2021
Qatar – Doha-Phuket four flights a week
Qatar Airways will offer four flights a week to Phuket out of Doha starting from July 1st. Qatar’s Boeing 787 Dreamliner fleet will serve the route, offering 22 business seats and 232 economy seats.
Qatar Airways Group Chief Executive, His Excellency Mr Akbar Al Baker, said,
“With the resumption of flights to Phuket, Qatar Airways marks a significant milestone in the recovery of international tourism… Famed for its many exotic beaches, family-friendly atmosphere, turquoise waters and delicious local cuisine, Phuket is an ideal destination for a summer getaway.”
Flight QR 840 – Doha (DOH) to Phuket (HKT) departs 02:55, arrives 13:30 (Wednesday, Friday, Saturday, Sunday).
Flight QR841 – Phuket (HKT) to Doha (DOH) departs 02:30, arrives 05:30 (Monday, Thursday, Saturday, Sunday).
#QatarAirways marks a significant milestone in the rebound of international leisure travel with the resumption of four weekly flights to the famed holiday destination of Phuket, Thailand, starting 1 July. https://t.co/uXfB5OO5pe pic.twitter.com/yBgJBiiuy2
— Qatar Airways (@qatarairways) June 1, 2021
Thailand opens up Phuket
In an effort to kickstart its lucrative tourism sector, the Tourism Authority of Thailand is trialing a new pilot scheme in the province of Phuket. Known for its clear waters and gorgeous scenery, Phuket is Thailand’s second-most popular travel destination after the capital Bangkok, attracting almost 10 million visitors in 2019.
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Fully vaccinated travelers will be able to enjoy Phuket completely quarantine-free. However, unvaccinated visitors would need to stay at a government-approved quarantine hotel for 14 days.
All passengers, vaccinated and unvaccinated, will still need to take a PCR test no later than 72 hours before departure and on day five. Be advised there is also a minimum stay of seven days in the province before tourists can visit other areas of the country.
Yuthasak Supasorn, Governor of the Tourism Authority of Thailand, told CNN around 129,000 visitors are expected to flock to Phuket between July and September. Authorities want to prioritize vaccinations in Phuket by vaccinating 70% of the province, generating controversy across Thailand. With a national vaccination campaign set to begin on June 7th, only 1.6% of Thailand’s population has currently been vaccinated.
Do you plan to visit Phuket this year? Let us know your travel plans in the comments.