The FINANCIAL — Qatar Airways’ first direct non-stop flight to the beautiful holiday destination of Pattaya touched down at U-Tapao Rayong Pattaya International Airport today, inaugurating the award-winning airline’s newest Thai destination.
This celebration marks Qatar Airways’ fifth route to the Southeast Asian country, and is the first new route launch for Qatar Airways in 2018, as the airline continues the rapid expansion of its global route network.
Flight QR828 touched down at U-Tapao Rayong Pattaya International Airport just after 06:30am and was welcomed with a traditional water cannon salute. His Excellency Mr. Soonthorn Chaiyindeepum, Thai Ambassador to the State of Qatar, travelled on board the inaugural flight with Qatar Airways Senior Vice President Asia Pacific, Mr. Marwan Koleilat, from the airline’s five-star hub, Hamad International Airport (HIA). Upon arrival in Pattaya, the VIP delegation was greeted by Rear Admiral Luechai Sri-Eamgool, Director for U-Tapao Rayong Pattaya International Airport; the Qatari Ambassador to Thailand, His Excellency Sheikh Jassim Bin Abdulrahman Bin Mohamed Al-Thani; Mr. Chaicharn Aiemcharoen, Acting Governor of Chonburi Province; Mr. Sattawat Anantakon, Vice Governor of Rayong Province and Pol Maj Gen Anun Charoenchasri, Mayor of Pattaya City, and a welcome ceremony attended by airport and government officials, together with local dignitaries took place.
Qatar Airways Group Chief Executive, His Excellency Mr. 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.”
Director of U-Tapao Airport Authority, Rear Admiral Luechai Sri-Eamgool, said: “We warmly welcome Qatar Airways’ first direct flight from Doha to U-Tapao Rayong Pattaya International Airport. U-Tapao 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 U-Tapao Pattaya.”
Pattaya is a major resort city located on Thailand’s eastern Gulf coast, and a popular holiday destination for travellers from both within Thailand and abroad, seeking to experience the local Thai hospitality and culture, or relax on one of Pattaya’s long, stunning beaches. The main attractions include the three kilometre-long Pattaya beach that runs parallel to the centre of the city, the Sanctuary of Truth traditional wooden temple, a floating market and extensive shopping areas.
Qatar Airways’ new four-times-a-week service to Pattaya offers five-star comfort on its Boeing 787 Dreamliner aircraft, with 22 seats in Business Class and 232 seats in Economy Class. Passengers on board will be able to enjoy the airline’s superior entertainment system, Oryx One, offering up to 4,000 entertainment options to choose from.
Qatar Airways has successfully operated services to Thailand for more than 20 years. The airline began services to Bangkok, its first destination in Thailand. Since then, the airline has been steadily increasing its number of flights to the country due to tremendous 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 four-times-weekly service to Pattaya increases the airline’s total weekly frequency to 64 flights a week to Thailand. From 25 March, the airline will also increase its service to Bangkok to six daily flights, making the total number of flights operated to Thailand to 71 weekly flights, according to Qatar Airways.
In the second half of 2017, Qatar Airways expedited its ambitious expansion plans with launches to a number of popular destinations including Skopje, Prague, and Kyiv in Eastern Europe; Adana, Turkey; St Petersburg, Russia and Chiang Mai, Thailand. The airline will be adding flights to many more exciting destinations in 2018, including Malaga, Spain; Mykonos, Greece and Cardiff, United Kingdom, to name just a few.
In the last year, the award-winning airline received more than 50 individual awards across multiple categories, including the prestigious accolade of 2017 ‘Airline of the Year,’ awarded by international air transport rating organisation Skytrax to Qatar Airways for the fourth time. Qatar’s national carrier also won a raft of other major awards, including ‘Best Airline in the Middle East,’ ‘World’s Best Business Class’ and ‘World’s Best First Class Airline Lounge.’
The national carrier of the State of Qatar is one of the fastest-growing airlines operating one of the youngest fleets in the world. Qatar Airways has a modern fleet of more than 200 aircraft flying to business and leisure destinations across six continents.
Doha (DOH) to Pattaya (UTP) QR828 departs 20:05 arrives 06:30 (next day) – Monday, Wednesday, Friday and Sunday
Pattaya (UTP) to Doha (DOH) QR829 departs 07:50 arrives 11:40 – Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday