Phuket, Jan 23 (IANS) Budget carrier GoAir will start seven more flights to Phuket by the end of 2019, as well as seek more bilateral flying rights to Thailand, a senior official has said.
“The level of interest from Indian travellers after GoAir started direct flights from India to Phuket has been excellent,” GoAir Vice-President (International Oerations) Arjun Dasgupta told IANS on the sidelines of the just-concluded “Thailand Yacht Show & Rendezvous 2019” here.
Dasgupta said that Chandigarh and Lucknow would be among the Indian cities to be connected to Thailand in the coming months.
The airline recently started flights to Phuket from Delhi, Mumbai and Bengaluru and also announced 50 per cent discounts for Indian enthusiasts heading for the yacht show.
Dasgupta noted that the number of Indian tourists coming to Phuket had “grown a lot” after the direct flights started on December 22, 2018.
Royal Phuket Marina Chairman Gulu Lalvani said that Indians currently rank 11th in terms of footfalls into Phuket and with the increase in direct flights, India would be second only to China in this respect by the end of 2019.
According to Dasgupta, Indians strongly felt the need for direct flight connectivity between Phuket and India.
“The only resentment everyone had was the harrowing experience of deboarding and reboarding the flight at Bangkok airport, especially while returning to India.
“Now with GoAir having started direct flights to Phuket, the travel time will be cut short by 4-5 hours providing tourists great relief,” Dasgupta said.
Talking of plans ahead, the official said that 90 per cent of the GoAir fleet is new. GoAir has already placed the order for 144 A-320 Neo aircrafts, he added.
(Rituraj Baruah was in Phuket on the invitation of Royal Phuket Marina and GoAir. He can be contacted at [email protected]>)