With Thailand granting quarantine-free entry to vaccinated tourists from all five Nordic countries, this route is a boon for those hoping to escape the long Scandinavian winter.
Finland’s national carrier is now running twice-weekly nonstop services between its home base and Krabi in southern Thailand, with flights available this winter until March 24, 2022. The seasonal route is being operated with two-class Airbus A350-900s — fuel-efficient aircraft considered the flagship of the airline’s fleet. Scheduled on Tuesdays and Wednesdays, AY 155 will depart from Helsinki at 7:25 p.m. and arrive in Krabi at 10:30 a.m. the next morning. Thailand-bound passengers can expect a journey time of about 10 hours and five minutes. The return service, Flight AY 156, will leave Krabi International Airport at 12:20 p.m. on Wednesdays and Thursdays to reach the Finnish capital at 6:25 p.m. local time, after 11 hours and five minutes in the air.
Finland is among the 63 countries and territories from which fully vaccinated visitors can enter Thailand without quarantine through the Test & Go program, which has been in place since November 1. The Thai government hopes to drive the post-Covid recovery of the country’s tourism industry with a renewed focus on “quality tourists” who stay longer and spend more.
At a ceremony marking the arrival of the first Finnair flight to return to Krabi since the pandemic began, Tourism Authority of Thailand Governor Yuthasak Supasorn said, “Finnair is an important inbound airline for Thailand’s tourism industry, bringing quality tourists from Finland and the Nordic market. The resumption of Finnair’s Helsinki-Krabi route is a good sign for us, as Thailand reopens to tourism and with the Visit Thailand Year 2022 campaign coming up.”
In 2019, Thailand welcomed just over 128,000 tourist arrivals from Finland, of which half visited Krabi and generated an estimated 5 million baht (US$148,500) in revenue. Thailand’s Department of Airports recently approved an increased allocation of international flights to Krabi during the month of December. This includes five charter flights by TUI from various Nordic cities including Gothenburg, Helsinki, Oslo, and Stockholm between December 18 and 30, plus Scoot’s three-times weekly service between Singapore and Krabi.