Saudi flights to boost tourism

Saudi flights to boost tourism

A Thai Airways International plane is parked at Suvarnabhumi airport. The airline will lauch a direct flight to Jeddah on Aug 19. (Photo: Wichan Charoenkiatpakul)
A Thai Airways International plane is parked at Suvarnabhumi airport. The airline will lauch a direct flight to Jeddah on Aug 19. (Photo: Wichan Charoenkiatpakul)

The upcoming launch of a direct air route from Bangkok to Jeddah, a commercial centre and gateway to the holy city of Mecca, is expected to push up the number of visitors from Saudi Arabia tenfold, deputy government spokeswoman Rachada Dhnadirek said.

Thai Airways International (THAI) has announced it will introduce the Bangkok-Jeddah route from Aug 19, following the normalisation of Thai-Saudi relations earlier in the year.

The carrier will operate four weekly flights to Jeddah on Mondays, Wednesdays, Fridays and Sundays.

Ms Rachada said Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha commended THAI for doing its part to expand relations with Saudi Arabia.

Gen Prayut visited Saudi Arabia in January this year, and a subsequent agreement was reached between Thailand and Saudi Arabia to fully restore diplomatic relations after a freeze of more than three decades.

Ms Rachada said the inaugural flight will bolster ties at both government and people-to-people levels with the expanding investment prospects.

She added the non-stop flights to Jeddah look certain to raise the number of visitors from Saudi Arabia tenfold, from around 30,000 a year at present. Visitors have had to detour through other cities before arriving in Thailand.

Thais will also head to Saudi Arabia in large numbers. They include pilgrims, mostly from the southern border provinces, attending the annual Hajj in Mecca and those seeking employment in the kingdom.

Ms Rachada, who is also the government's special representative solving problems in the deep South, said visitors from Saudi Arabia travelled to Thailand to shop, see the sights and seek medical services.

She said THAI also planned to spread Thai cultural influences through the sale of products native to the deep South in the airline's online THAI Shop. Some of the products, such as salt from Pattani with a distinct mild taste, may be used as a seasoning for meals served on board.

Ms Rachada said the airline is also promoting the southern provinces in Saudi Arabia and other Gulf countries.



Do you like the content of this article?
COMMENT
TRENDING

At least 12 killed in Somalia hotel siege

MOGADISHU: At least 12 people have been killed in Somalia's capital Mogadishu after al Shabaab militants attacked a hotel leading to a siege that authorities are still trying to end, an intelligence officer said on Saturday.

13:34

+1,902 cases

There were 29 more Covid-19 fatalities and 1,902 new patients admitted to hospitals on Friday, according to the Public Health Ministry.

13:06

16 more to face rap over Forex Ponzi

Sixteen more people including a celebrity couple will be charged with alleged roles in a Forex Ponzi scheme, according to Prayut Petchkun, deputy director-general of the Department of Special Litigation.

12:04