Chiang Mai has officially joined Thailand’s reopening launch as the first international flight brought tourists to the “Charming Chiang Mai” program. After nearly 2 years of being closed to international flights, Chiang Mai Airport welcomed a flight of 83 travellers from South Korea last night.

The first flight was operated by Korean carrier Jeju Air and departed from Seoul’s Incheon Airport at 6:40 pm to arrive into Chiang Mai yesterday evening just after 10 pm, landing about 20 minutes ahead of schedule, a 5 and a half hour flight with Korea’s time zone 2 hours ahead of Thailand.

The province welcomed the flight with fanfare including a water tunnel commonly used to greet the first flight at an airport, and then passengers were met by the Deputy Governors of both Chiang Mai and the Tourism Authority of Thailand, along with the airport director and other officials.

After the excited greeting, passengers went through a temperature checkpoint and a document check, with most travellers using the Certificate of Entry process before the new Thailand Pass option had launched.

After navigating through the Covid-19 arrival procedure along with normal customs and immigration steps, the group of Korean tourists were given souvenir gifts from the TAT before proceeding to their hotels.

The provinces of Prachuap Khiri Khan (Hua Hin) and Phetchaburi (Cha-Am) are now eagerly awaiting the first international flights to Hua Hin Airport under the Phoenix-Plan with flights promised from locations including Kuala Lumpur, Singapore, Hong Kong, Southern China and India; all within a six hours flight time.