Dubai: Emirates launched its first commercial flight to southern Thailand on Monday with the launch of the non-stop, daily service to Phuket.
Phuket is the airline’s 128th destination and the service is aimed at boosting the city’s international flight capacity and connect it to Emirates’ global network across six continents, Emirates said in a statement, adding that the launch also signifies the carrier’s commitment to Thailand. Emirates began operating flights to Thailand in 1990 when it began flights to Bangkok.
Salem Obaidalla, Emirates’ Senior Vice President, Commercial Operations, Far East & Australasia, who formed a part of the delegation on board the inaugural flight to Phuket, said, the market is strong and the inaugural flight was almost full, “which is a good sign”.
He told Gulf News that the Phuket route will serve Europe well. “The fleet of A380s will be an added advantage on the Phuket route from Europe. And the strength, of course, is the Emirates airline,” he said.
The other delegation included Warawudh Chuwiruch, Thai Ambassador to the UAE; Brigadier Obaid Bin Suroor, Deputy Director of Dubai Immigration, DNRD; Khalid Bin Touq, Executive Director Licensing & Classification Section, DTCM; Hiran Perera, Senior Vice-President, Cargo Planning and Freighters.
“Emirates has a longstanding affiliation with Thailand and the country is indeed an important market for Emirates. This newly-launched service will support Thailand’s tourism sector by enhancing inbound arrivals from the UAE, the larger Middle East region as well as traditional markets like Europe.
The launch of a daily non-stop flight to Phuket, operated by an A340-300 with a belly hold capacity of 13 tons, will take Emirates SkyCargo’s weekly cargo capacity into and out of the country to more than 640 tons. This capacity is spread across four flights to Bangkok and one to Phuket, Emirates said.