Russian airline Aeroflot will resume direct passenger flights on two exotic routes between Moscow (SVO), Phuket (HKT) and Seychelles (SEZ), according to several media reports.
Despite being almost entirely shut out of the international air travel market due to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, the carrier plans to resume direct flights from Moscow to Phuket from October 30, 2022, the carrier said. government spokesman Thanakorn Wangboonkongchana.
The winter months could see an increase in arrivals from Russia, the Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) said, reported by the Bangkok Post on August 3, 2022.
If the airline succeeds in restarting regular operations to the island, which were suspended in March 2022, the move could notably boost Thailand’s tourism industry and speed up the country’s post-pandemic recovery.
TAT estimates that more than 3 million international travelers arrived in Thailand between January and July 2022, including 76,700 from Russia.
But Phuket is not the only exotic destination Aeroflot has set its sights on. According to the Seychelles News Agency (SNA), Russia’s largest airline is also planning to return to operations in Seychelles within a few months. However, this has not yet been confirmed as Aeroflot has not yet finalized discussions on a possible direct air link to the destination.
Speaking to SNA on August 3, 2022, Bernadette Willemin, chief executive of destination marketing at the Seychelles Tourism Board, said the airline had already shown its “great interest” in resuming a route to the destination. .
“Although we cannot confirm the dates yet, we have been informed by our partners that a potential flight for October is available in the reservation system,” Willemin said.
Meanwhile, the Russian consulate in Seychelles noted that Russia and Seychelles have a valid air service agreement, and “the restart of the Aeroflot flight will be in strict accordance with this agreement”, the embassy told SNA.
Aeroflot already resumed flights to Seychelles in April 2021. The move allowed 32,000 Russian travelers to enter the country at the time. However, the carrier abandoned the route in March 2022 as it stopped serving international destinations, except for some flights to Minsk, after it was banned from international airspace.