Etihad and Emirates to resume flights to Phuket, Thailand in July

The Tourism Authority of Thailand has confirmed the island will reopen to vaccinated travellers from July 1

Phuket in Thailand is reopening to vaccinated travellers on July 1. Unsplash
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Both Etihad Airways and Emirates have announced they will resume flights to Phuket, Thailand as of next month.

The UAE's national airline will recommence its services on July 1, while Dubai's airline will restart its four weekly flights to the resort island from July 2.

The Tourism Authority of Thailand confirmed on Wednesday that travellers who have been vaccinated against Covid-19 from low-risk countries will be allowed to fly direct to the popular holiday destination without having to quarantine from July 1, as part of its pilot Phuket Sandbox programme. Children under 6 are exempt.

Phuket is a popular holiday destination for travellers from the Middle East. Unsplash
Phuket is a popular holiday destination for travellers from the Middle East. Unsplash

Tourists will be allowed to travel freely around the island, although there is a minimum stay requirement of seven days before they can go anywhere else in the country.

This is all subject to the Covid-19 situation in Thailand, and rules may change as the country's circumstances do.

The Dubai-Phuket route will operate with a Boeing 777-300ER, with flight EK378 departing the UAE city on Tuesdays, Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays at 3am, and arriving at Phuket International Airport at 12.30pm that same day.

The return flight, EK379, departs Phuket at 12.10am on Wednesdays, Saturdays, Sundays and Mondays, arriving in Dubai at 3.05am the same day.

Flight time is about six-and-a-half hours.

Etihad will offer a service three times a week, using a Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner with Economy Space and Neighbour-free seating options.

To mark the launch, the airline is currently holding a sale on fares, which start from Dh995 return for a seat in economy, ending on Friday. This is valid for travel until Saturday, November 20.

The Abu Dhabi airline will also resume its services to Rabat, Morocco, a destination on the capital's green list, with an initial twice-weekly schedule from Wednesday, June 23.

Thailand is not currently on the list, which means anyone travelling from the capital to Phuket will have to quarantine on return.

See the photo gallery below for all of the destinations on Abu Dhabi's green list:

"The popular Thai destination remains a favourite amongst travellers from the Middle East, Europe and beyond," read a statement from Emirates.

The Dubai airline also resumed flights to Bangkok in September, now offering a daily service. However, entry into the city is limited to only certain categories of people.

Both airlines have been gradually restoring their networks with the announcements of travel corridors and border reopenings across the world.

On Monday, Emirates also announced its flights between Dubai and Venice will resume from Thursday, July 1.