Jetstar has resumed flights between Australia and Thailand for the first time since March 2020, when Australia first introduced bans on international travel.
On Wednesday, the budget airline restarted services connecting Sydney and Phuket on its Boeing 787-8 Dreamliner, with tri-weekly flights available on Mondays, Wednesdays and Saturdays.
Meanwhile, flights from Melbourne resume on Thursday, 13 January, also on the Dreamliner, with twice-weekly services on offer on Thursdays and Sundays.
It comes after Jetstar restarted its first low-cost international flights between Melbourne and Singapore on 16 December, and Sydney and Fiji on 17 December.
Speaking on the resumption of flights to Thailand, Jetstar CEO Gareth Evans said, “Today is an exciting day for travellers and also for our crew, many of whom used to love operating to Thailand regularly pre-pandemic.”
Thailand has long been a favoured destination for Australian holidaymakers and has been accepting fully vaccinated tourists from Australia since November last year.
However, as of this week, double-jabbed Australians are only allowed to travel into Phuket under the Thai government’s “sandbox” scheme, which means they must not exit Phuket within the first seven days of their holiday.
The previous “test and go” system, which allowed for quarantine-free travel for those with a negative COVID-19 test result, has been put on pause.
“Thailand has consistently been one of our most popular overseas holiday destinations since we started flying there in 2007, and our research tells us that Phuket still remains high on the list of places Aussies want to go,” Evans said.
“A recent survey of Jetstar customers showed that Thailand currently ranks in the top three international destinations that travellers have on their bucket lists for 2022.”
Jetstar is gearing up to return to other international destinations, including Bali, Japan and Vietnam, in the coming weeks and months – once quarantine requirements for Australians are eased.
Meanwhile, Jetstar Asia has announced it is kickstarting its services between Singapore to Perth from February 2022 for the first time since early 2020.
The Western Australia capital is considered Singapore’s most popular destination and Jetstar Asia says there is “considerable pent-up demand” for the route to restart.
From 12 February, four weekly flights to Perth will operate under Singapore’s Vaccinated Travel Lane (VTL), which allows for fully vaccinated two-way quarantine-free travel.
Jetstar Asia’s head of commercial and alliances, Clive Ashmore Butler said: “Perth has always been an incredibly popular destination for Singaporeans, one that they would return to time and again.
“Western Australia offers stunning beaches, wineries and restaurants, not to mention easy access to incredible places such as Margaret River and Ningaloo, but with many Singaporeans living in Perth, it importantly enables family and friends to reconnect, some for the first time in two years.”