Oman Air opens sales agency in Pattaya

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(L to R) Chaiwat Patimaark, General Manager, Orchid Travel; Prajak Trakoonchuandee, Sales Executive, Bangkok Airways; Narintorn Sukkaseam, District Sales Manager, Eastern Thailand, Thai Airways; Ahmed Hazeem Al Balushi, Oman Air District Sales Manager-Thailand; Nopporn Kanchanamanee, District Sales Manager, Thai Airways; Piyawan Patimaarak owner of Orchid Travel; Woranan Boonprawes, Reservation Oman Air Pattaya Office.

Oman Air has opened its only passenger sales agency outside Bangkok in Pattaya to serve customers in the airline’s second-largest Thai market.

Orchid Travel on Second Road at Soi 1 in North Pattaya was chosen as the local agent for the airline. At the opening ceremony Sept. 22, Oman Air Thailand sales manager Ahmed Hazeem Al Balushi noted that Pattaya is now a “must visit” destination for most of the carrier’s Thailand-bound customers.

“Pattaya is basically our second-biggest city now, especially for Omani nationals,” Al Balushi said. “When they come to Bangkok, they also must come to Pattaya. So that’s why we chose to open an office here.”

He said the airline has increased flights to Thailand from just five a week a couple of years ago to nine a week now. There are plans to further increase that with the ultimate goal of having two flights daily. While most passengers are still Middle Eastern, the carrier is seeing an increasing number of European travelers, as it now serves Frankfurt, London, Munich and Paris. An office in Italy will open soon.

Medical tourism is a major reason many of Oman Air’s customers are flying to Thailand, Al Balushi said. As many as 60 percent of Omanis coming to the kingdom are doing so for some type of medical treatment.

He said other major traveler groups are honeymooners, shoppers and business travelers.