Russians dominate Thai charter aircraft

24th Nov 2022


Charter flights to Thailand’s hotspots of Phuket and Pattaya are being dominated by Russian visitors. Thanet Suparashasrangsi, the head of the Chonburi Council of Tourism Industry, said, "The start of charter flights by Azur Airline using B757 aircraft, which can hold up to 202 people, on November 26 will bring a lot more people to Pattaya."

Chairman Thanet said that Russian charter flights to U-Tapao International Airport would significantly enhance Pattaya's tourism. He anticipated that the city's hotel occupancy rate would increase to 60% from its present average of 40–50%.

According to The Pattaya News, Russia's Ikar Airline is also filling up with Russian travellers.

Less than two weeks after Russian airlines made their triumphal return to Phuket, Aeroflot has announced an increase in direct flights to the island. On November 12, Russia's biggest airline said that it would be adding 14 more flights a week from Russia to Phuket.

Koh Samui also expects to experience a spike in Russian tourists, particularly in December. Russian tourism has been a big revenue-producing staple of Koh Samui but was stymied by the COVID-19 pandemic and then the Russian invasion of Ukraine.

According to Siripakorn Cheawsamoot, deputy governor of the Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT), the number of Russian visitors travelling to Thailand is likely to surpass 1 million in the next year. According to Siripakorn, many Russian airlines have restarted charter flights to Thailand.

In early November, it was claimed that Russians were the largest group of visitors visiting Phuket. From November 1 to November 10, Phuket had 18,370 Russian tourists. Last month, the first direct flights from Moscow to Phuket International Airport resumed.

On Koh Samui, Koh Pha Ngan, and Koh Tao, the return of Russians is anticipated to have a significant impact on the tourism industry. Residents of Russia and other countries in Europe with very cold winters are thinking about taking a break in Thailand to escape the cold.

As of October 26, 7 349 843 foreign visitors had arrived in Thailand, exceeding the 7 million mark. This brings the country within the TAT's target range of 7 to 10 million visitors for 2022.