Sandbox project: Etihad flight with 25 passengers lands in Phuket

etihad phuket sandbox flight passengers
UAE
  • Date: 01-Jul-2021
  • Source: Khaleej Times
  • Sector: Transport
  • Country: UAE
  • Who else needs to know?

Sandbox project: Etihad flight with 25 passengers lands in Phuket

The first international travellers touched down on Thursday in the holiday hotspot of Phuket under a quarantine-free scheme, as Thailand tries to reboot its battered tourism industry while also enduring its worst coronavirus outbreak. Tourism makes up almost a fifth of the Thai economy, and the Covid-19 pandemic has led to its worst performance since the 1997 Asian financial crisis. The kingdom is pinning high hopes for a much-needed revival on the so-called "Phuket sandbox" "” a model that will allow vaccinated travellers to visit without quarantine. On Thursday, 249 passengers on flights from the United Arab Emirates, Qatar , Israel and Singapore are expected to land on the island "” where sandy beaches have been relatively deserted since the virus hit. The first 25 travellers arrived in Phuket on an Etihad Airways flight before noon and underwent screening procedures. The launch of the quarantine-free scheme comes as Thailand grapples with its worst-ever Covid-19 wave and the worrying detection of the Alpha and Delta coronavirus variants. Nationwide, the current case tally is at 259,301. But Phuket remains relatively unscathed as Thai authorities have rolled out a mass vaccination campaign in preparation for the quarantine-free arrivals, with 70 per cent of

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