India seeks to operate more direct flights to Phuket
India is to begin operating a daily direct flight between New Delhi and Phuket from Thursday and more direct flights between other Indian major cities and Phuket international airport will follow, said Thani Chuangchu, director of the airport.
Kolkata will next operate a direct flight to Phuket as well after India’s request to operate direct flights from this city of it to Phuket has already been approved along with the request for direct flights from New Delhi, said Mr Thani.
“India had submitted requests for airport slots for all five cities; but only slots for flights from New Delhi and Kolkata were approved for the time being,” he said.
Currently 330 flights are operated daily to and from Phuket airport that handles about 40,000 passengers a day on average, he said.
The airport is preparing to implement the second phase of its expansion plan to accommodate more flights and passengers, he said.
The next airport expansion work is due to begin in 2020.
The airport is currently capable of serving at most 20 flights per hour and 12.5 million passengers per year, while the actual number of passengers the airport has recorded this year already reached 18.26 millions, he said.
The largest proportion of these passengers were Chinese nationals, followed by Russians and Australians, he said.