Travel Phuket

Tourist information for Phuket, Thailand

International Flights to Phuket

Travel Phuket

If you're planning a holiday on Thailand's island of Phuket, you'll be pleased to find out that there is a very large, modern airport on the island. In fact, Phuket International Airport happens to be the second-busiest airport in the whole of Thailand.

The airport, which is about 20 miles or 32 km north-west of Phuket Town, the capital city of Phuket Province, is located at 98° 06' 38" (longitude) and 08° 06' 38" (latitude). It is on the coast between Mai Khao and Nai Yang Beaches, both of which are in the amazing Sirinath National Park, one of the leading tourist destinations on the island, with its mangrove forests, salt-water swamps and unique eco-system.

Every year millions of passengers pass through the airport, and at least 12,000 tons of cargo is handled. The runway, which is constructed from asphaltic concrete, is 3,000 m (nearly 100 square feet) long and 45 m / 148 ft wide, and the airport has a capacity to handle up to 10 flights every hour. An ambitious expansion and refurbishment plan was launched in 2008, and by 2016 the airport will have a capacity to handle around 11.5 million passengers annually.

Travel insurance that covers flight cancellation is suggested, and can be arranged through your travel agent. For travellers who are booking their own trip online - Travel Insurance Cover (for Australian travellers), Go Travel Insurance (for UK travellers) and TravelGuard (for US travellers) all offer a variety of comprehensive and budget options.

There are several airlines that are either based at Phuket International Airport or that have offices on the island of Phuket. These and several other international airlines offer flights to Phuket - some of the main airlines include:

  • - Cathay Pacific, Jetstar, Qantas, Malaysia Airlines, Thai Airways, and Virgin Australia all offer flights from major Australian cities to Phuket (search for flights from Australia at Webjet).
  • - Aeroflot, Air China, Asiana Airlines, Cathay Pacific, China Eastern Condor, Delta, Korean Air, Malaysia Airlines, Qatar Airways, Qantas, Singapore Airlines, and Swiss Air all fly from parts but not all of the USA (search for flights from the United States at Priceline or Oribtz).
  • - Air China, Cathay Pacific, China Eastern Airlines, Emirates, Jet Airways (India), Malaysia Airlines and Thai Airways all fly from the United Kingdom (search for flights from Australia at British Airways does not fly to Phuket.
  • - Only Qatar Airways, Qantas, Singapore Airlines and Swiss Air fly out of South Africa's three international airports in Johannesburg and Cape Town (national carrier South African Airlines (SAA) doesn't).

Irrespective of where you are departing from, once your flight arrives at Phuket Airport, you're going to need transport. Unless you are staying at a resort that has some sort of shuttle service for its guests, you will probably want to hire a car. In addition to local Thai companies, several of the world's best known car rental companies have cars available at (or just outside) the airport. This includes Sixt and Budget, both of which offer pick-up and drop-off services. You can even book online via the airport's web site. Of course if you hire a car for the duration of your holiday, you will be able to drive yourself back to the airport to pick up your outgoing flight.

Alternative transportation possibilities include both public and private buses and metered taxis, minibuses and limousines (which are, in essence, more comfortable but also a more expensive type of taxi). Since 2007 there has been a special express shuttle service available from downtown Phuket to the airport. Run by the local provincial administration, it was launched because of tourist complaints that public bus services were too slow.

There are several luxury hotels and resorts that are located near to the airport, including the very new Dewa Phuket that is just a five minute drive away. The Dewa Phuket Resort (which is located just meters away from the gorgeous Nai Yang Beach) offers free transportation to and from the airport for all its guests, making it an ideal stopover at the start or end of any holiday on Phuket.

At least four other hotel resorts that offer airport transfer are located nearby, including a Holiday Inn. A highlight here is that some of the rooms and suites have direct access to the huge, beautifully designed pool.