Direct flights from Russia to Phuket resumed on Sunday, boosting tourist arrivals on the southern holiday island.
Ikar Airlines flight EO3477 from Russia's Sheremetyevo Airport (Moscow) touched down at Phuket International Airport at around 1.30pm with 449 passengers on board.
The Russian tourists were given a special welcome by airport staff led by staff administrative officer Pongsak Srimai.
Russian flag carrier Aeroflot also resumed its direct, nine-hour flight from Moscow to Phuket on Sunday.
Three Russian airlines have scheduled direct flights to Phuket to serve demand in Russia during the upcoming high season.
Aeroflot will operate daily flights between Moscow (Sheremetyevo Airport) and Phuket from October 30 to March 25.
Ikar Airlines will fly on Wednesday, Friday and Sunday from the same airport from October 30 to March 25.
Siberia Airlines will fly between Irkutsk International Airport and Phuket on Thursdays from November 3 to March 23. It will also operate Monday flights between Vladivostok and Phuket from November 7 to March 20, and flights from Russia’s third-largest city, Novosibirsk, from November 3 to March 23 next year.
Phuket Airport expects to see about 30,000 arrivals per day in November.