Qatar Airways’ first direct non-stop flight to the holiday destination of Pattaya touched down at U-Tapao Rayong Pattaya International Airport on Monday, marking the inauguration of the airline’s newest Thai destination.
Pattaya is Qatar Airways’ fifth route to the Southeast Asian country and the first new route launch for the carrier in 2018.
In a statement, the Doha-based airline said the new four-times-a-week service to Pattaya increases its total weekly frequency to 64 flights a week to Thailand.
Flight QR828 touched down at U-Tapao Rayong Pattaya International Airport just after 6.30am and was welcomed with a traditional water cannon salute.
Thai ambassador to Qatar Soonthorn Chaiyindeepum travelled on board the inaugural flight with Qatar Airways’ senior vice-president, Asia Pacific, Marwan Koleilat, from Hamad International Airport.
The traditional water cannon salute.
At Pattaya, the VIP delegation was welcomed by Rear Admiral Luechai Sri-Eamgool, director of U-Tapao Rayong Pattaya International Airport; Qatari ambassador to Thailand Sheikh Jassim bin Abdulrahman bin Mohamed al-Thani; Chaicharn Aiemcharoen, acting governor of Chonburi Province; Sattawat Anantakon, vice-governor of Rayong Province; and Pol Maj Gen Anun Charoenchasri, mayor of Pattaya City, along with airport and other government officials and dignitaries.
Qatar Airways Group chief executive 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, this new route reinforces and deepens the strong ties that exist between the State of Qatar and the Kingdom of Thailand.
“Thailand is continuing to grow in popularity among our passengers. We launched this new route in direct response to increasing demand from our passengers, and we are proud to be able to fly them on our aircraft to experience our unrivalled five-star service. We are excited to offer our travellers more destinations to choose from in the Far East, and to connect the people of Pattaya to Qatar Airways’ extensive global network of more than 150 destinations around the world.”
Welcoming the Qatar Airways flight, Rear Admiral Sri-Eamgool said U-Tapao Airport is a cornerstone of the Eastern Economic Corridor that the Thai 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 U-Tapao Pattaya,” he added.
Pattaya is known as a major resort city located on Thailand’s eastern Gulf coast and a popular holiday destination for local and foreign travellers who want to experience the local Thai hospitality and culture.
Pattaya’s main attractions include long and stunning beaches like the 3km-long Pattaya beach, running parallel to the centre of the city, the Sanctuary of Truth traditional wooden temple, a floating market and extensive shopping areas.
Qatar Airways’ service to Pattaya offers five-star comfort on its Boeing 787 Dreamliner aircraft with 22 seats in Business Class and 232 seats in Economy.
Passengers on board will be able to enjoy the airline’s entertainment system, Oryx One, offering up to 4,000 options to choose from.
Qatar Airways has been operating services to Thailand for more than 20 years, starting with the Doha-Bangkok route and steadily increasing due to high passenger demand.
The airline currently operates services 35 times a week to Bangkok, 14 times a week to Phuket, daily to Krabi, and as of last month, four times a week to Chiang Mai.
The new service to Pattaya increases its total weekly frequency to 64 flights a week to Thailand.
From March 25, the airline will also increase its service to Bangkok to six daily flights, taking the total number of services operated to Thailand to 71 weekly flights.
The airline will be adding flights to more destinations in 2018, including Malaga, Spain; Mykonos, Greece and Cardiff, UK, to name a few.