Qatar Airways launched flights to its fifth destination in Thailand on 28 January – a four times weekly operation to Utapao, its first new route of 2018. The oneworld airline now offers 64 weekly flights to the Southeast Asian country, which will become 71 later this year, when it adds its sixth daily flight to Bangkok Suvarnabhumi. Among the VIPs were: Soonthorn Chaiyindeepum, Thai Ambassador to the State of Qatar; Marwan Koleilat (centre), Qatar Airways SVP Asia Pacific; Rear Admiral Luechai Sri-Eamgool, Director Utapao Airport; Sheikh Jassim Bin Abdulrahman Bin Mohamed Al-Thani, Qatari Ambassador to Thailand; Chaicharn Aiemcharoen, Acting Governor of Chonburi Province; Sattawat Anantakon, Vice Governor of Rayong Province; and Pol Maj. Gen. Anun Charoenchasri, Mayor of Pattaya City.
- Qatar Airways launched non-stop flights to Utapao (UTP), serving the holiday destination of Pattaya, on 28 January, the carrier’s first new route of 2018. This service marks the carrier’s fifth route to the Southeast Asian country from its Doha (DOH) hub. Qatar Airways CEO Akbar Al Baker, said: “We are delighted to be the first Middle East airline to offer direct flights to Pattaya. Having also launched flights to Chiang Mai in Thailand just last month and soon to launch our sixth-daily flight to Bangkok Suvarnabhumi, this new route reinforces and deepens the strong ties that exist between the State of Qatar and the Kingdom of Thailand.” Director of Utapao Airport, Rear Admiral Luechai Sri-Eamgool, added: “We warmly welcome Qatar Airways’ first direct flight from Doha. Utapao Airport is a cornerstone of the Eastern Economic Corridor that the Thailand government is aggressively developing. These new direct flights will open up further seamless air connectivity for tourists and business visitors looking to visit Pattaya and the Eastern Seaboard, further boosting our tourism industry and also aid in the development of foreign investments into Utapao, Pattaya.” Qatar Airways has operated services to Thailand for more than 20 years, beginning with flights to Bangkok. The airline currently operates services five times daily to the Thai capital, double-daily to Phuket, daily to Krabi, and as of last month, four times weekly to Chiang Mai. The new four times weekly 787-8-operated service to Utapao, which faces no direct competition, increases the airline’s total weekly frequencies to Thailand to 64. From 25 March, the airline will increase its service to Bangkok to six daily flights, meaning 71 weekly flights will then be offered between Doha and the Southeast Asia country. See how Utapao Airport’s FTWA compares to others from around the world.