The Tourism Department of Thailand announces the launch of the Almaty-Surat Thani charter

The Tourism Authority of Thailand announces the launch of the first direct charter flight of SCAT Airlines on the route Almaty-Surat Thani. The first plane arriving at Surat Thani International Airport on the morning of May 31, 2024, was greeted with water arches and fireworks as it taxied to the terminal.

At the airport, the first flight was met by representatives of the department, including Somradi Chitchong, Deputy Head of the Tourism Department for the Domestic market. The honorary passenger on board the first flight was the Ambassador of Thailand to Kazakhstan, His Excellency Chatchavan Sakornsin.

“The Almaty-Surat Thani flight of SCAT Airlines will serve a growing number of tourists from Kazakhstan, while opening up new opportunities for travelers from Russia and CIS countries,” commented the Executive Director of the European Region Office, Chirawadi Khunsub, on the launch of the flight.

Surat Thani is the largest province in southern Thailand. Its capital of the same name in ancient times was the main city of the Indonesian empire of Srivijai. Surat Thani is called the “province of a thousand islands”, but this is not the only reason to visit the region. Mu Koh Ang Thong National Park and the magical Buddha Garden, decorated with many statues, are also popular with tourists.

Chirawadi Khunsub agrees with them: “In addition to exploring the picturesque corners of Surat Thani and the famous islands of Koh Samui, Phangan and Tao in the Gulf of Thailand, beach lovers can diversify their trip by relaxing on the Andaman coast, including the resorts of Krabi Phang Nga.”

SCAT Airlines, which operates flights from Shymkent International Airport in Kazakhstan on a Boeing 737 Max aircraft, plans at least 13 flights on this route in the period from May to September this year. The maximum load of the aircraft is 220 people.

The launch of the charter was implemented as part of a strategic partnership between the Tourism Authority of Thailand and one of the leading tour operators in Kazakhstan, Selfie Travel. The new flight is designed to strengthen the kingdom’s reputation as a year-round destination and stimulate an increase in tourist flow due to the upcoming expansion of the visa-free regime.

In accordance with the current scheme, which expires on August 31, 2024, travelers from Kazakhstan are allowed to stay in Thailand for up to 30 days for tourist purposes.

The mutual visa-free regime of Thailand and Kazakhstan will enter into force 30 days after both countries have complied with all legal formalities agreed upon during the signing of the agreement between the two countries on April 23, 2024.

After the agreement comes into force, holders of passports of both countries with a validity period of at least six months will be able to enter and leave, as well as stay in the country during the transfer for up to 30 days from the moment of crossing the border, but no more than 90 days during a 180-day period.

Kazakhstan is one of Thailand’s fastest growing entry markets: the second largest in the CIS after Russia. From January 1 to May 16, 2024, more than 99 thousand Kazakh tourists visited Thailand: it is expected that by the end of the year this figure will exceed 220,000 people. Last year, 172,282 residents of Kazakhstan chose the kingdom for recreation — 190% more than in 2022.


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