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AsoRock
Topic Author
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Saudia Arabia and Thailand resume air links after 35 years

Wed Jan 26, 2022 4:48 am

Saudi Arabia and Thailand have finally resolved a diplomatic crisis that has lasted for over 35 years! Air links will now resume, with Saudi citizens allowed to travel to Thailand freely.

Saudia has announced it will resume flights to Bangkok by May, 2022. I wonder if Thai will follow suite. I recall vaguely that it used to operate to KSA in the 1980s.

I expect this will help recover Thailand’s tourism industry after the pandemic.

https://www.arabnews.com/node/2011491
 
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scbriml
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Re: Saudia Arabia and Thailand resume air links after 35 years !

Wed Jan 26, 2022 9:10 am

While this is good news, one wonders just how much traffic flows between these two "strange bedfellows".
 
seansasLCY
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Re: Saudia Arabia and Thailand resume air links after 35 years !

Wed Jan 26, 2022 9:15 am

scbriml wrote:
While this is good news, one wonders just how much traffic flows between these two "strange bedfellows".


I assume domestic helpers will be a big market (as it was before the relationship broke down) and Saudis going abroad for hedonistic/haram holidays.
 
HUYfan
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Re: Saudia Arabia and Thailand resume air links after 35 years !

Wed Jan 26, 2022 10:31 am

Hopefully Dammam gets a BKK route!

Regards
 
JustJet
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Re: Saudia Arabia and Thailand resume air links after 35 years !

Wed Jan 26, 2022 12:11 pm

scbriml wrote:
While this is good news, one wonders just how much traffic flows between these two "strange bedfellows".


About 127k pax in 2019.
 
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chunhimlai
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Re: Saudia Arabia and Thailand resume air links after 35 years

Wed Jan 26, 2022 12:39 pm

What is the diplomatic crisis 35 years ago?
 
seansasLCY
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Re: Saudia Arabia and Thailand resume air links after 35 years

Wed Jan 26, 2022 1:24 pm

chunhimlai wrote:
What is the diplomatic crisis 35 years ago?


The Blue Diamond Affair https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Blue_Diamond_Affair

Saudi Arabia alleged that a Thai employee stole a diamond and other jewelry from the Saudi Royal Family and then when some items were returned they were fakes.
 
Anansaudiajet
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Re: Saudia Arabia and Thailand resume air links after 35 years

Wed Jan 26, 2022 1:24 pm

chunhimlai wrote:
What is the diplomatic crisis 35 years ago?

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Blue_Diamond_Affair
The crisis is honestly a doozy.
TLDR, in the late '80s, a Thai domestic worker stole many valuable jewels from the Saudi royal family, including a very expensive blue diamond (Hence the crisis is called 'The Blue Diamond Affair'). Saudi Arabia asked for the jewels back naturally, and Thailand obliged, but the jewels that were returned were found out to be fake. Some Saudis businessmen and diplomats investigating the theft were mysteriously murdered in Thailand. This all led to severing of relations
 
744SPX
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Re: Saudia Arabia and Thailand resume air links after 35 years

Wed Jan 26, 2022 2:16 pm

Anansaudiajet wrote:
chunhimlai wrote:
What is the diplomatic crisis 35 years ago?

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Blue_Diamond_Affair
The crisis is honestly a doozy.
TLDR, in the late '80s, a Thai domestic worker stole many valuable jewels from the Saudi royal family, including a very expensive blue diamond (Hence the crisis is called 'The Blue Diamond Affair'). Saudi Arabia asked for the jewels back naturally, and Thailand obliged, but the jewels that were returned were found out to be fake. Some Saudis businessmen and diplomats investigating the theft were mysteriously murdered in Thailand. This all led to severing of relations


That's like something out of a movie.
 
chonetsao
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Re: Saudia Arabia and Thailand resume air links after 35 years

Wed Jan 26, 2022 2:54 pm

744SPX wrote:
That's like something out of a movie.


Yes, very bizarre. But it is true. I remember when I was in Thailand back in 2005 the English newspaper there (either Bangkok Post or the Nation) had reports about the maid and the accusation. The disappearing Saudi in Thailand was true too.

The interesting point for now however is to know who initiated the new relationship and whether the gems are now fully returned or not. And, what Thailand has to gain from the new relationship. I am not sure if Saudi would let them get away with theft and murder so easily. Something must be given in exchange of forgiveness. And one can not stop notice it is the Thai PM visiting Saudi, it is like to go to other people's house to apologise and seek forgiveness.

All very interesting drama. A good movie yet somehow I dont think it will ever be made to the screen.
 
SimpleMan
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Re: Saudia Arabia and Thailand resume air links after 35 years !

Wed Jan 26, 2022 3:27 pm

scbriml wrote:
While this is good news, one wonders just how much traffic flows between these two "strange bedfellows".

There are more than a few Saudi men who like to be players in Thailand. They may also visit Malaysia on the same vacation.
There were several stories of Saudis still finding a way into Thailand during the ban; mostly via the land route thru Malaysia.
You are correct in that I would not see a lot of traffic from Thailand to Saudi.
 
atal17
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Re: Saudia Arabia and Thailand resume air links after 35 years !

Wed Jan 26, 2022 3:44 pm

SimpleMan wrote:
You are correct in that I would not see a lot of traffic from Thailand to Saudi.


Sure, but note that in the communiqué about resuming ties - Thailand emphasizes that they intend to send quite a lot of workers to fulfill Saudi’s labour needs.

If that turns out to be true, then they’ve got their market right there.
 
SA280
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Re: Saudia Arabia and Thailand resume air links after 35 years

Wed Jan 26, 2022 4:59 pm

That's interesting.

One of the most strict societies when it comes to civil, women ang gay rights being linked with one of the most liberal ones (where being gay or transgender is perceived as a absolutely normal thing).

That will be a trully open-minding trip...
 
SimpleMan
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Re: Saudia Arabia and Thailand resume air links after 35 years !

Wed Jan 26, 2022 6:02 pm

atal17 wrote:
SimpleMan wrote:
You are correct in that I would not see a lot of traffic from Thailand to Saudi.


Sure, but note that in the communiqué about resuming ties - Thailand emphasizes that they intend to send quite a lot of workers to fulfill Saudi’s labour needs.

If that turns out to be true, then they’ve got their market right there.

Having worked in Saudi, I can attest that the majority of outside laborers are Filipinos, Indians, Pakistanis. The maids and babysitters are female Filipinos but also lots of Muslim women from Indonesia and Malaysia.
Saudi is doing its best to open up to more tourists.
 
toobz
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Re: Saudia Arabia and Thailand resume air links after 35 years

Wed Jan 26, 2022 6:06 pm

They are gonna have to try harder lol
 
Galwayman
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Re: Saudia Arabia and Thailand resume air links after 35 years !

Wed Jan 26, 2022 6:11 pm

scbriml wrote:
While this is good news, one wonders just how much traffic flows between these two "strange bedfellows".


There's massive numbers of Saudi tourists (men) in Thailand - they're everywhere just like the Israelis
 
luckyone
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Re: Saudia Arabia and Thailand resume air links after 35 years

Wed Jan 26, 2022 6:45 pm

SA280 wrote:
That's interesting.

One of the most strict societies when it comes to civil, women ang gay rights being linked with one of the most liberal ones (where being gay or transgender is perceived as a absolutely normal thing).

That will be a trully open-minding trip...

Saudis with the means to travel aren’t ignorant to any of those things. It seems to be accepted that those with means can and will travel overseas for indulgences, while conforming at home.
 
BuildingMyBento
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Re: Saudia Arabia and Thailand resume air links after 35 years !

Wed Jan 26, 2022 6:52 pm

SimpleMan wrote:
atal17 wrote:
SimpleMan wrote:
You are correct in that I would not see a lot of traffic from Thailand to Saudi.


Sure, but note that in the communiqué about resuming ties - Thailand emphasizes that they intend to send quite a lot of workers to fulfill Saudi’s labour needs.

If that turns out to be true, then they’ve got their market right there.

Having worked in Saudi, I can attest that the majority of outside laborers are Filipinos, Indians, Pakistanis. The maids and babysitters are female Filipinos but also lots of Muslim women from Indonesia and Malaysia.
Saudi is doing its best to open up to more tourists.


In the 1980s - pre-Thai bullshittery re: blue diamond affair - Saudi Arabia had tens of thousands of domestic laborers from Thailand.

As for the flights, seems obvious. Saudi tourists to Thailand, Thai workers to Saudi, and perhaps even some Umrah passengers from BKK/southern Thai provinces.
 
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eta unknown
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Re: Saudia Arabia and Thailand resume air links after 35 years

Wed Jan 26, 2022 7:42 pm

The title is not quite correct- there have been flights between KSA & Thailand within the last 35 years... I thought the severing of air links was more recent and about Thai laborers that were executed in KSA.
 
AsoRock
Topic Author
Posts: 187
Joined: Wed May 31, 2006 4:00 pm

Re: Saudia Arabia and Thailand resume air links after 35 years

Thu Jan 27, 2022 4:34 am

eta unknown wrote:
The title is not quite correct- there have been flights between KSA & Thailand within the last 35 years... I thought the severing of air links was more recent and about Thai laborers that were executed in KSA.


There were no direct scheduled passenger or cargo links between Saudi Arabia and Thailand since the early 1990s. Not sure about your claim.

The suspension was related to the Blue Diamond theft case. Reas above thread you’ll see what happened in more detail
 
HUYfan
Posts: 1209
Joined: Sun Oct 21, 2001 9:38 pm

Re: Saudia Arabia and Thailand resume air links after 35 years

Thu Jan 27, 2022 9:10 am

Thai used to fly daily to Dhahran, using DC10, A300 and DC8 aircraft over the years.

I flew their A300 DHA-BKK in the late 80s. Hoping DMM isn’t overlooked and RUH/JED get routes.

Kind regards

HUYfan
 
behramjee
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Re: Saudia Arabia and Thailand resume air links after 35 years

Thu Jan 27, 2022 10:08 am

Kindly note that in the past a majority of Burma originating Umrah Hajj pax used to fly via BKK to KSA and this trend will continue going forward.

There will be a massive tourism stimulation from KSA to Thailand until 2024 with this new initiative plus if they allow labour import from TH then that too will help a lot from the opposite direction.

All GCC carriers will benefit a lot with this added stimulus of KSA-TH traffic. Saudi tourists that will go to TH aren’t the mega elite who go to UK France GVA but those that will go there will still end up being higher than average spenders (much higher than the average EU tourist). The average EU tourist in Thailand would spend $60-100 per night for a hotel whilst for Saudis it would be in the $140-150 per night range easily + they are higher shopping spenders too.

Don’t expect with this new opening a lot of single Saudi men going to TH as that market segment has moved to GYD TBS BEY IST due to closer proximity.
 
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eta unknown
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Re: Saudia Arabia and Thailand resume air links after 35 years

Thu Jan 27, 2022 10:51 am

AsoRock wrote:
eta unknown wrote:
The title is not quite correct- there have been flights between KSA & Thailand within the last 35 years... I thought the severing of air links was more recent and about Thai laborers that were executed in KSA.


There were no direct scheduled passenger or cargo links between Saudi Arabia and Thailand since the early 1990s. Not sure about your claim.

The suspension was related to the Blue Diamond theft case. Reas above thread you’ll see what happened in more detail


Again- this is completely incorrect. There has been a long suspension of flights, but it's not as long as 35 years. There are plenty of photos of SV aircraft in BKK within this time frame.
 
LupineChemist
Posts: 846
Joined: Wed Oct 07, 2015 9:03 am

Re: Saudia Arabia and Thailand resume air links after 35 years

Thu Jan 27, 2022 11:00 am

Yeah, there's a decent Muslim population in southern Thailand for Hajj flights, too. I could actually see a some interesting widebody charters from Hat Yai (HDY)
 
seansasLCY
Posts: 1424
Joined: Mon Mar 19, 2007 5:25 am

Re: Saudia Arabia and Thailand resume air links after 35 years

Thu Jan 27, 2022 11:20 am

eta unknown wrote:
AsoRock wrote:
eta unknown wrote:
The title is not quite correct- there have been flights between KSA & Thailand within the last 35 years... I thought the severing of air links was more recent and about Thai laborers that were executed in KSA.


There were no direct scheduled passenger or cargo links between Saudi Arabia and Thailand since the early 1990s. Not sure about your claim.

The suspension was related to the Blue Diamond theft case. Reas above thread you’ll see what happened in more detail


Again- this is completely incorrect. There has been a long suspension of flights, but it's not as long as 35 years. There are plenty of photos of SV aircraft in BKK within this time frame.


It says scheduled flights. That could still have allowed charter services.
 
lawair
Posts: 255
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Re: Saudia Arabia and Thailand resume air links after 35 years !

Thu Jan 27, 2022 3:24 pm

seansasLCY wrote:
scbriml wrote:
While this is good news, one wonders just how much traffic flows between these two "strange bedfellows".


I assume domestic helpers will be a big market (as it was before the relationship broke down) and Saudis going abroad for hedonistic/haram holidays.


While there is a lot of reporting about labor coming from Thailand as part of the new diplomatic ties, the kind of labor they would send is no longer "domestic helpers." Thailand is, of course, very different now than it was in 1989/1990. Thailand now imports far more lower skilled labor than it exports, and the labor that it would export these days is higher skilled or in certain service industries (e.g. hospitality, medical, etc.). Thai domestic helpers that served families in Thailand in the 80s and 90s left those jobs in droves to find new careers in the 2000s, and the domestic jobs they left had to be backfilled by Burmese and Laotians. A lot of construction these days in Thailand is handled by Burmese labor. A fair number of people are also pointing out that Thailand's tight labor market would mean that any push to send labor overseas would result in an even further straining of the labor market (particularly after the pandemic becomes endemic in Thailand), and it's unclear what government policies would be implemented to address that issue..
 
cschleic
Posts: 1923
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Re: Saudia Arabia and Thailand resume air links after 35 years !

Thu Jan 27, 2022 3:57 pm

SimpleMan wrote:
scbriml wrote:
While this is good news, one wonders just how much traffic flows between these two "strange bedfellows".

There are more than a few Saudi men who like to be players in Thailand. They may also visit Malaysia on the same vacation.
There were several stories of Saudis still finding a way into Thailand during the ban; mostly via the land route thru Malaysia.
You are correct in that I would not see a lot of traffic from Thailand to Saudi.


Also Thailand is a popular vacation spot for expats in Saudi.
 
SimpleMan
Posts: 26
Joined: Sat Nov 13, 2021 11:24 pm

Re: Saudia Arabia and Thailand resume air links after 35 years !

Thu Jan 27, 2022 4:21 pm

cschleic wrote:
SimpleMan wrote:
scbriml wrote:
While this is good news, one wonders just how much traffic flows between these two "strange bedfellows".

There are more than a few Saudi men who like to be players in Thailand. They may also visit Malaysia on the same vacation.
There were several stories of Saudis still finding a way into Thailand during the ban; mostly via the land route thru Malaysia.
You are correct in that I would not see a lot of traffic from Thailand to Saudi.


Also Thailand is a popular vacation spot for expats in Saudi.


I can agree to that as well but there are much better connections to Thailand via DXB from DMM or BAH.
 
acavpics
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Re: Saudia Arabia and Thailand resume air links after 35 years

Thu Jan 27, 2022 4:50 pm

I just don't see why Saudi Arabia has to cut off commercial traffic because of a diplomatic dispute. We recently saw SA (and Middle East allies) do the same thing to Qatar during the blockade.
Seriously, what are the innocent civilians simply flying through your country going to do? I don't see any point in banning them whatsoever.

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