The beach resort of Krabi, southern Thailand, has received a major tourism boost following the launch of new year-round long-haul scheduled flights.
Qatar Airways became the first Middle Eastern carrier to fly direct to Krabi this week, opening up the Thai coastal province to a world of connecting traffic, most notably from Europe and the Middle East.
European airlines do fly direct to Krabi, but only on a chartered or seasonal basis. Qatar Airways’ scheduled services will operate on a year-round basis, initially with four weekly flights using a twin-aisle Airbus A330 aircraft. This will bring approximately 1,000 additional visitors into Krabi each week.
Krabi is home to some of Thailand’s most recognisable destinations and attractions, such as Phi Phi Island and Railay Bay.
“I am delighted to be able to inaugurate the first service to Krabi, providing travellers from key markets with direct access to Krabi and the region’s tourism hot spots – undeniably some of the most popular and sought after travel destinations in the world. Thailand remains an important market for Qatar Airways as we continue to explore key secondary destinations to better serve the global traveller,” said Qatar Airways’ senior vice president for Asia Pacific, Marwan Koleilat.
“Additionally, the new service to Krabi opens up a host of convenient global destinations for the people of Krabi and its region and I’d like to thank the Thai people for their continued support over the last 20 years,” he added.
Krabi becomes Qatar Airways’ third Thai destination, following Bangkok and Phuket, and flights to Chiang Mai are due to commence in 2017. The Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) welcomed the airline’s latest route.
“Thanks to the new route launch, Thailand now has even better connections to the world,” said Yuthasak Supasorn, governor of the TAT. “Last year, Thailand received more than 39,000 tourists from Qatar and with this new route, we expect more tourist arrivals in the years ahead. This new route also provides great connectivity for travellers coming from other parts of the GCC, the Middle East, Europe and Africa.”
Qatar Airways’ flights will now operate every Monday, Tuesday, Friday and Saturday, departing Doha’s Hamad International Airport at 0530 and arriving in Krabi International Airport at 1620. The return services then leave Krabi at 1720 and arrive back in Qatar at 2045.