Chiang Mai and Phuket welcome first direct flights from China
Two direct flights from China landed in Chiang Mai and Phuket on Wednesday, carrying a total of 377 travelers, a first in nearly 3 years that has lifted the hearts of tourism professionals
A Juneyao Air flight, a Chinese company operating direct flights between Shanghai and Chiang Mai, arrived Thursday at Chiang Mai International Airport with 195 passengers on board from China. In Phuket, 182 Chinese travelers disembarked, also from Shanghai, from a Spring Airlines plane.
Since China relaxed its anti-Covid health policy on January 8, its nationals have been called upon to travel again. News of China’s reopening has sparked excitement among tourism professionals in Asia who have been cut off for nearly three years from a market worth $255 billion a year in revenue.
Nevertheless, even if some expected to see a Chinese wave surge immediately after January 8, many factors go against such an idea, as the agency Les Voyages d’Angèle, based in Chiang Mai, points out. In an article on the return of Chinese travelers posted on January 10 on its blog, the French travel agency cites, among other things, the need for Chinese people to obtain travel documents (passport, authorization to leave the territory), or the time required to allow airlines to re-establish flight slots abandoned during the Covid crisis.
In Chiang Mai, airport manager Wichit Kaewsaitiam told local broadcaster Thai PBS that five airlines have been allowed to fly direct between Chiang Mai and the Chinese cities of Beijing, Shanghai, Guangzhou, and Chengdu. .
Chiang Mai also welcomes direct flights from Singapore, Taipei, Luang Prabang, Da Nang, Hanoi, Hong Kong, Kuala Lumpur, Ho Chi Minh City, Yangon and Incheon.
Thailand was the clear top destination in online flight searches for the Lunar New Year period these days, according to Sojern, a Chinese business management platform for the travel industry.