Qatar Airways’ first direct non-stop flight to the holiday destination of Pattaya touched down at U-Tapao Rayong Pattaya International Airport on Monday, inaugurating the airline’s newest Thai destination.

The celebration marked Qatar Airways’ fifth route to Thailand, and is the first new route launch for Qatar Airways in 2018, as the airline continues the rapid expansion of its global route network.

Flight QR828 touched down at U-Tapao Rayong Pattaya International Airport at 06.30am and was welcomed with a traditional water cannon salute. Soonthorn Chaiyindeepum, the Thai ambassador to the State of Qatar, travelled on board the inaugural flight with Qatar Airways’ senior vice president Asia Pacific, Marwan Koleilat, from the airline’s hub, Hamad International Airport in Doha.

Upon arrival in Pattaya, the delegation was greeted by Rear Admiral Luechai Sri-Eamgool, director of U-Tapao Rayong Pattaya International Airport; the Qatari ambassador to Thailand, Jassem Al-Thani; Chaicharn Aiemcharoen, Acting Governor of Chon Buri province; Sattawat Anantakon, Vice Governor of Rayong province; and Pol Maj-General Anun Charoenchasri, mayor of Pattaya City. The welcome ceremony was also attended by airport and government officials, together with local dignitaries.

Qatar Airways Group chief executive, Akbar Al Baker, said Thailand was continuing to grow in popularity among the airline’s passengers.

“We launched this new route in direct response to increasing demand from our passengers, and we are proud to be able to fly them on our aircraft to experience our unrivalled five-star service,” he said.

“We are excited to offer our travellers more destinations to choose from in the Far East, and to connect the people of Pattaya to Qatar Airways’ extensive global network of more than 150 destinations.”

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