The Russian airline will start running daily flights between Moscow and Phuket on October 30 in order to transfer Russians seeking refuge there from the icy winter. Flights from Russia to Phuket have been banned since March as a result of Aeroflot joining other Russian airlines in delaying its overseas travel plans earlier this year. Just 76,739 Russian visitors had arrived in Thailand as of July 26. Before the European Union limited Russia’s use of the jets as a result of their invasion of Ukraine, the majority of the jets had already left.

Airlines’ entry and exit points from Russia may once again be opened, although the TAT has not yet made a decision on this. Instead, it is now thinking about how this most recent decision will affect every other one in the future. Russian airlines were forced to cancel flights due to European sanctions, and Thai Airways and Thai AirAsia X were unable to fill the void. Due to the restrictions, getting repairs, technical support, or replacement parts is challenging, and insurance companies won’t cover the cost of travel to Russia. 400 travel agencies are still shuttered because the Chinese market cannot come here. As of July 27, maintenance, repairs, and other support services are permitted thanks to a waiver granted by the European Union to the International Civil Aviation Organization. The director of Thailand’s tourism organization claims that the only obstacle keeping tourists from visiting the country is travel. Since more than 380,000 people have visited India and Malaysia this year, businesses are focusing on them rather than Chinese and Russian tourists. Additionally, Malaysia has welcomed 322,000 more tourists. The Association of Thai Travel Agents, which has 1,600 members, is sponsoring a conference this weekend with more than 70 Phuket hotels and 170 tour operators in an effort to resurrect the industry. However, just 10% of these businesses have been able to continue offering their services. The Phuket tourism board is continuing working to get as many Russian guests to the island as possible in the second half of this year, despite the resumption of Aeroflot service. Speaking with tour companies that cater to this industry revealed their confidence in Thailand’s need. The absence of connectivity is the only issue. We can still expect a surge in tourism in the third quarter if Aeroflot’s planned debut of direct flights is successful, and additional carriers may follow in the months to come. The government anticipates that one million Russian tourists, who formerly accounted for a large share of the island’s visitors, will visit Phuket by 2022. After suspending flights in protest of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, Aeroflot is getting ready to restart service from Russia to Phuket.

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