The opening last week of a non-stop flight between Krabi and Doha by Qatar Airways can be qualified as a historical event for the Southern province as it is the first link from the small airport to a major hub in the Gulf area.
The province, famous for its stunning coastline and islands, will host four-weekly flights via an Airbus A330-200, direct from Doha. This new route shows the increasing popularity of Krabi and its airport, which is now serviced by direct flights from nations in Europe and ASEAN as well as China.
Mr. Marwan Koleilat, Qatar Airways Senior Vice President of Asia Pacific, and His Excellency Mr. Soonthorn Chaiyindeepum, Thai Ambassador to Qatar, travelled on the inaugural flight to Krabi on 6 December, 2016. They were welcomed in Krabi by Mr. Chalermsak Suranant, Director of TAT Dubai and Middle East Office; Mr. Nob Kongpun, Vice Governor of Krabi; and Mr. Attaporn Nuang-Udom, Director of Krabi International Airport.
Mr. Nob Kongpun, Vice Governor of Krabi said, “Qatar Airways’ flights to Krabi will give a significant boost to our province and indeed the entire economy of Southern Thailand, especially to help small-and-medium-sized enterprises, such as, our unique guest-houses, lodges and handicrafts companies; as well as create hundreds of new jobs across the entire region.”
The new flights, which come just before the Christmas/New Year 2016-17 festive season, is also expected to help the Krabi tourism industry upgrade the quality of its products and services to cater to the new demand.
Krabi becomes Qatar Airways’ third destination in Thailand after Bangkok, which was launched 20 years ago in 1996, and Phuket in 2010. The airline has firm plans to begin services to Chiang Mai in 2017.
Krabi is one of Thailand’s fastest growing destinations. From January to October 2016, international and domestic passenger arrivals at Krabi International airport totalled 1,701,454, up 19.7 per cent from 1,366,554 arrivals in the same period of last year.