Sichuan Airlines has started operating direct services between Chongqiong, one of China's five national central cities, and Phuket Island to meet the growing demand for travel to the holiday island off the south-west coast of Thailand.
The service is operated three times a week using Airbus A320 aircraft. Flights depart Chongqing at 20:00 every Wednesday, Friday, and Sunday, and arrive in Phuket at 23:45.
Thailand has become a popular destination among Chinese tourists in recent years. According to official figures, more than 130 chartered flights with Chinese tourists went to Thailand during the 2011 Chinese New Year holiday.
In 2011, the number of Chinese tourists traveling to Thailand is expected to reach 1.05 million by year end and it is expected that this number will increase steadily over the next three to four years.