Mr. Tanes Petsuwan, TAT Deputy Governor for International Marketing – Europe, Africa, Middle East and the Americas said, “This partnership with Etihad Airways will be a great benefit. Europe has long been a prime market for Thailand while the Middle East and Africa have been growing in recent years, so this strategic agreement will certainly help boost visitor numbers to Thailand. Etihad, on the other hand, will benefit in terms of promoting its vast international network.”
Bangkok continues to be one of Etihad Airways’ busiest routes – around 800,000 passengers travelled to and from the Thai capital in 2016. The airline launched its Bangkok route with daily flights in April 2004, and added a second daily service in June 2006, a third daily flight in April 2012, and a fourth in July 2015. The airline added Phuket to its Thai network in October 2014. More than six million passengers have flown on the airline’s Thailand routes since 2007 and further growth is expected.
Mr. Tim Burnell, Etihad Airways Vice President Marketing said, “Etihad Airways has a long and proud association with Thailand – in fact Bangkok was one of our first international routes. It continues to be one of the busiest in our network enjoying strong year-round demand, particularly from the UAE, GCC, Middle East, Africa and Europe.”
Mr. Burnell added, “With five daily flights to Thailand – four to Bangkok and one to Phuket – Etihad Airways has a significant investment in Thai tourism and the new agreement with the Tourism Authority of Thailand supports and extends that commitment.”
From its Abu Dhabi base, Etihad Airways flies to, or has announced plans to serve, more than 110 passenger and cargo destinations in the Middle East, Africa, Europe, Asia, Australia and the Americas. The airline has a fleet of over 120 Airbus and Boeing aircraft, with 204 aircraft on firm order, including 71 Boeing 787s, 25 Boeing 777Xs, 62 Airbus A350s and 10 Airbus A380s.
“Through innovative joint marketing campaigns, we aim to bring hundreds of thousands of first-time and repeat travellers from Europe and the Middle East to Thailand to enjoy this beautiful country and to experience the warm, friendly hospitality for which the Thai people are world-renowned,” Mr. Burnell said.
In 2017, TAT has set a target of 34.5 million international visitors, generating an estimated 1.81 trillion Baht (US$50 billion) – a 10 per cent year-on-year increase – in international tourism receipts.