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Bangkok Airways adds VTL flights from Koh Samui to Singapore

Simpler Koh Samui trips are on the cards for Singapore residents, with the sole operator of non-stop flights Bangkok Airways gaining VTL approval on all its services from the island.

Some great news many of our readers have been eagerly awaiting from Thailand’s Bangkok Airways, with confirmation that the airline’s three times weekly non-stop flights from Koh Samui to Singapore have joined the list of designated Vaccinated Travel Lane (VTL) flights, with daily service from July onwards.

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The news means that from today travellers can make simpler trips to and from the popular holiday island, without having to change in Bangkok on the return journey to Singapore for a quarantine-free experience.

Bangkok Airways operates its Airbus A319 between Koh Samui and Singapore. (Photo: D. G. Bouma)

Until now, those taking the airline’s non-stop Koh Samui – Singapore flights have been subject to a seven-day Stay-Home Notice on arrival in Singapore, with an ‘exit’ PCR swab on Day 7.

The schedule

All three PG961 flights each week in the Koh Samui – Singapore direction will operate as designated VTL services from 3rd March 2022. Bangkok Airways does not identify its VTL flights through its booking engine for now, but instead lists them here.

3rd March 2022 – 26th March 2022

  Days
M T W T F S S
PG962
A319
SIN
19:30
USM

20:35
PG961
A319

VTL
USM
15:20
SIN

18:15

If you’re planning a trip between 27th March and 30th June 2022, the service continues to operate three times per week but with a slightly later timing by around 1 hour.

27th March 2022 – 30th June 2022

  Days
M T W T F S S
PG962
A319
SIN
20:00
USM

21:05
PG961
A319

VTL
USM
16:15
SIN

19:10
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Service increases to daily, for the best trip flexibility, from 1st July 2022.

1st July 2022 – 29th October 2022

  Days
M T W T F S S
PG962
A319
SIN
20:00
USM

21:05
PG961
A319

VTL
USM
16:15
SIN

19:10

The PG961 flight timing to Singapore ties in quite nicely with most hotel check out requirements, since you’ll need to be heading to the airport by around 1pm-2pm.

The Singapore Airlines Group served Koh Samui using SilkAir Airbus A319s prior to COVID-19, but unfortunately no longer operates any aircraft compatible with the island’s short runway, leaving Bangkok Airways as the sole operator.

Test & Go

Thailand has recently reinstated its Test & Go scheme for fully vaccinated tourists to visit quarantine-free, subject to obtaining a Thailand Pass, negative pre-departure PCR test and negative on-arrival PCR test, whereby you self-isolate in your hotel room until a negative result is received.

A Day 5 self-ART test is also required for those making longer trips.

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Here’s how the latest process looks.

Eligibility

  • Thai citizens and foreign travellers arriving from all countries.
  • Fully vaccinated with an approved vaccine at least 14 days before departure, if aged 18 or over.
  • Children aged under 18 can travel with fully vaccinated parents even if they are not fully vaccinated.
  • Children aged 12-17 travelling to Thailand unaccompanied (without parents) must have received at least 1 dose of an approved vaccine.

Pre-departure

  • Apply for a Thailand Pass, allowing at least seven days notice prior to your trip to allow for processing (new rules apply for arrivals from 1st March 2022).
  • Take a pre-departure PCR test within 72 hours of your flight departure time (find the cheapest in Singapore here).
  • No pre-departure PCR test is required for those aged 5 or below.
  • Have an insurance policy with a coverage of no less than US$20,000 (not required for Thai citizens).
  • Book and have proof of prepayment for one night of accommodation at government-approved hotels in the SHA Extra Plus (SHA++), AQ, OQ, or AHQ categories on Day 1, and the PCR test on Day 1.
  • Your prepayment for Day 1 must include accommodation, testing and a prearranged transfer from the airport to the hotel.
  • If you are arriving in Phuket, your Day 1 test will be at the airport. You can book your Phuket Day 1 test here.

Arrival (Day 1)

  • Proceed to Immigration and Health Control for a body temperature check and document check.
  • Download and install the MorChana app (Google / Apple), for use in accordance with Thailand’s COVID-19 precautionary measures during your trip.
  • Collect your luggage then proceed to your booked accommodation or medical facility to undergo your Day 1 PCR test. The trip must be by a prearranged vehicle on a sealed route. Children aged 5 or under will have a non-invasive saliva PCR test.
  • If you are arriving in Phuket or Koh Samui, your Day 1 test will be at the airport, before taking your SHA+ approved transport to your SHA Extra+ hotel.
  • Wait for your test result within your booked hotel room.
  • Once a negative result is received, you are free to travel anywhere in Thailand.

Second Test (Day 5)

  • Conduct a self-administered ART test.
  • ART kit will be provided by your Day 1 hotel (or at the airport on arrival in Phuket or Koh Samui) free of charge.
  • No isolation period or specific SHA Extra+ hotel room booking is required.
  • Report your result on the MorChana app.

Travellers heading to Koh Samui can also opt to follow the Sandbox programme.

VTL to Singapore

At the end of your Koh Samui trip, you can follow the standard VTL process to return to Singapore on a Bangkok Airways non-stop VTL flight. Here’s how it works.

Singapore
Vaccinated Travel Lanes

Key Features

  • Must have stayed in a VTL country/region and/or an approved travel history country (EEA + 3) and/or Singapore for the last 7 consecutive days
  • Travel to Singapore on designated ‘VTL flights’ (e.g. Bangkok Airways to Changi)
  • No restrictions on travel purpose or itineraries
  • Must be fully vaccinated with a WHO-approved vaccine in Singapore, or any VTL country (e.g. Thailand), or any EU member state, or any non-EU countries that have joined the EU DCC system
  • Must have an accepted digital proof of vaccination
  • Unvaccinated children aged 12 or under can accompany their parents
  • Visitors and Singapore work pass holders must apply for a VTP in advance*
  • COVID-19 tests replace quarantine / Stay-Home Notice in Singapore

* Singapore Citizens, Permanent Residents and Long-Term Pass Holders are exempt

  VTL: All you need to know

Other Thailand – Singapore VTL flights

As part of Singapore’s recent move to start allowing airlines to operate Vaccinated Travel Lane (VTL) flights from airports in Thailand other than Bangkok Suvarnabhumi and Don Muang, several more flexible options for two-way quarantine-free trips are now available.

Here’s the full list of designated VTL flights by all airlines on Thailand – Singapore routes aside from these newly added Koh Samui flights (click to expand):

27th March 2022 - 31st March 2022

  Days
M T W T F S S
 bgcolor= TG403
A350 Long Haul
BKK
08:00
SIN

11:15
 bgcolor= 3K512
A320
BKK
09:25
SIN

12:50
 bgcolor= SQ705
A350 Regional
BKK
09:50
SIN

13:15
 bgcolor= TR625
787-8
BKK
10:50
SIN

14:15
 bgcolor= SQ707
A350 Long Haul
BKK
12:15
SIN

15:45
 bgcolor= 3K516
A320
BKK
12:50
SIN

16:15
 bgcolor= TR753
787-8
BKK
14:35
SIN

17:50
 bgcolor= SQ709
A350 Long Haul
BKK
15:40
SIN

19:15
 bgcolor= TR611
A321neo
BKK
17:35
SIN

21:00
 bgcolor= 3K514
A320
BKK
21:20
SIN

00:45*

* Next day

Important

From 1st April 2022, there will be no more designated VTL flights to Singapore.
All fully vaccinated travellers can enter quarantine-free on any flight operated by any airline on any route.

27th March 2022 - 31st March 2022

  Days
M T W T F S