DOHA, QATAR – The coastal gateway of Krabi, Thailand, welcomed the first Qatar Airways flight to arrive at its international airport from Doha, Qatar. The Airbus A330-200 was greeted by a water salute to usher in the new four times weekly service to Southern Thailand’s west coast. On board the inaugural flight was Qatar Airways Senior Vice President of Asia Pacific, Mr. Marwan Koleilat, and Thailand’s Ambassador to Qatar, His Excellency Mr. Soonthorn Chaiyindeepum.
With the launch of this new service Qatar Airways has become the first Middle Eastern airline to provide scheduled services to Krabi, providing fast and convenient access to one of the world’s most popular tourism regions. Travellers can now enjoy year-round services to the incredible islands of Phi Phi National Park, while also enjoying other cultural experiences in the Southern Thai province famous for stunning land and seascapes, world-class diving, national parks and eco-tours.
Qatar Airways Senior Vice President of Asia Pacific, Mr. Marwan Koleilat, said: “I am delighted to be able to inaugurate the first service to Krabi, providing travellers from key markets with direct access to Krabi and the region’s tourism hot spots – undeniably some of the most popular and sought after travel destinations in the world. Thailand remains an important market for Qatar Airways as we continue to explore key secondary destinations to better serve the global traveller. Guests can now enjoy Qatar Airways’ award-winning service on board one of the youngest fleets in the industry when we fly together to Krabi, Thailand.
“Additionally, the new service to Krabi opens up a host of convenient global destinations for the people of Krabi and its region and I’d like to thank the Thai people for their continued support over the last 20 years.”
The Southern Thai region of Krabi is a province of stunning natural beauty, with towering limestone formations hugging a myriad of tropical beaches. The area is home to the famous Tiger Cave Temple, Railay Beach. Ko Poda, Khao Phanom Bencha National Park and Ko Lanta Yai; combining to attract a considerable number of sun-seeking tourists every year.
Tourism Authority of Thailand Governor, Mr. Yuthasak Supasorn, said: “We wish to express our warmest welcome to Qatar Airways and its new route between Krabi and Doha. Thanks to the new route launch; Thailand now has even better connections to the world. Krabi is one of Thailand’s most iconic regions; situated on the Andaman Sea on the South-Western coast it is rich with pearly beaches, translucent waters, coral reefs, waterfalls and natural caves. Last year, Thailand received more than 39,000 tourists from Qatar and with this new route, we expect more tourist arrivals in the years ahead. This new route also provides great connectivity for travellers coming from other parts of the GCC, the Middle East, Europe and Africa.”
Krabi becomes the third strategic destination in Thailand that Qatar Airways serves. Following the inaugural service to Bangkok in 1996, Qatar Airways launched services to Phuket in 2010 and will begin services to Chiang Mai in 2017.
Qatar Airways, the national airline of the state of the Qatar, is one of the fastest growing airlines in aviation history, connecting global travellers to more than 150 key business and leisure destinations across six continents. Travellers will enjoy a quick and convenient transfer at the airline’s state-of-the-art hub, Hamad International Airport in Doha.
For travellers who would like to run their transit into a stopover experience, they can also take advantage of the new 96-hour transit visa offered in partnership with the Qatar Tourism Authority. Transiting passengers can explore the various highlights Doha has to offer – from the world-renowned Museum of Islamic Art to the Katara Cultural Village or desert safaris to bustling and cosmopolitan city scape.
In addition to its inaugural service to Krabi, Qatar Airways continues to expand its global reach. In 2016 alone, Qatar Airways also launched services to Adelaide (Australia), Atlanta (USA), Birmingham (UK), Boston (USA), Helsinki, (Finland), Los Angeles (USA), Marrakech (Morocco), Pisa (Italy), Ras Al Khaimah (UAE), Sydney (Australia), Windhoek (Namibia) and Yerevan (Armenia). Services to Seychelles will follow later this month.
Qatar Airways partners with UnionPay International
Qatar Airways will now accept UnionPay credit and debit cards through its website for ticket and other sales, expanding payment options for customers around the world.
With more than 5.8 billion cards issued globally, UnionPay is an international bankcard network and is the preferred method of payment for the Chinese market. The option to pay with UnionPay cards provides Qatar Airways travellers with a high quality and secure payment service worldwide, and is accepted in 160 countries and regions. Qatar Airways customers can now conveniently book via the airline’s website in currencies including Chinese Yuan, Great British Pound, Euro, US Dollar, Australian Dollar, Hong Kong Dollar, Japanese Yen, South Korean Won, Malaysian Ringgit, New Zealand Dollar, Singapore Dollar and Thai Baht using their UnionPay cards.
Qatar Airways Group Chief Executive, His Excellency Mr. Akbar Al Baker, said: “Our partnership with UnionPay International, one of the world’s most popular bank card issuers, provides our global customers with more flexible payment options when they choose to book with Qatar Airways. We are committed to finding ways to better serve our customers; from our recently launched Apple Pay feature to our new digital membership card for our valued Privilege Club members. We are tireless in our pursuit to provide the most secure and convenient options to travellers as we go places together.”
Customers across the globe can book Qatar Airways tickets using their UnionPay cards by selecting the UnionPay logo on the payment page. Customers will be re-directed to UPI’s website to fill out their payment credentials, with a successful completion of the payment resulting in a Qatar Airways’ confirmation page and booking reference number.
Qatar Airways also recently launched Apple Pay; becoming the first Gulf carrier to offer the revolutionary ‘mobile wallet’ solution across the full list of countries where Apple Pay is available. Available on any iOS device, Apple Pay allows customers to conveniently and securely book their next journey on Qatar Airways with the tap or touch of a finger. Using passcode or finger-print technology, Apple Pay links directly to the subscribers’ nominated debit or credit cards, adding to yet another safe and secure way to purchase Qatar Airways tickets.
In addition to Apple Pay, Qatar Airways’ also recently launched the Digital Membership Card for Privilege Club members – another digital innovation for the airline. As part of its commitment to streamline the customer experience, the Digital Membership card provides customers the option to access the clubs many great benefits via the digital card available on the Qatar Airways App, website, Apple Wallet, via email or as a saved image on a portable device.
Qatar Airways, the national carrier of the State of Qatar, is one of the fastest growing airlines operating one of the youngest fleets in the world. Now in its 19th year of operations, Qatar Airways has a modern fleet of 191 aircraft flying to more than 150 key business and leisure destinations across six continents.