THE arrival of the first Russian charter flight at U-Tapao International Airport today (Nov. 26) after a long suspension and daily shuttles now likely signals a bustling high-season for Pattaya, Phuket and Bangkok with this uptick expected to continue next year, Matichon newspaper said.
At 7:45 a.m. Pattaya City Mayor Mr. Poramet Ngamphichet along with U-Tapao Airport Director Adm. Rapeepong Sowan and representatives of private travel businesses were on hand to welcome the 236 Russian tourists who flew in on Azur Airline’s inaugural charter flight from Novosibirsk Tolmachevo Airport.
Mr. Sanphet Supabwornsathien, president of the Eastern Thai Hotel Association, said the arrival of this charter flight is a good sign that Russian tourists are now eager to travel again especially to escape the winter in their country.
Currently there are three well-known tour companies bringing Russian tourists here with one of them, Anex, having organised a concrete tourism programme with the management having informed Thai authorities that one planeload of tourists will be arriving at U-Tapao Airport each day and this could possibly be increased to three a day in future.
There was a welcoming ceremony for the first group of arriving on a Russian charter flight with long drums played and garlands and souvenirs given.
Poramet said after the seaside city suffered for over two years during the peak of Covid-19 pandemic entrepreneurs are very happy Tourism Authority of Thailand had informed them that from now on tens of thousands of Russian tourists will be coming with this generating hundreds of millions of baht in revenue.
Russian tourists arriving on an inaugural charter flight are warmly welcomed. Photos: Matichon