While budget airlines are setting the pace around Asia, Emirates is already world's largest international carrier and continues to enlarge its global network.
At the same time as Phuket-China-Phuket flights are being added as fast as possible to the mass market hauls, the Emirates daily delivery opens up the Middle East and Europe direct.
The oil-rich United Arab Emirates capital of Dubai is rapidly rising as one of the world's most important air hubs, with the highly-regarded national airline expanding fast. Emirates now flies to 120 cities across six continents.
From Dubai, passengers going to and from Phuket will be able to choose a network that is difficult for other airlines to match.
That's one of the reasons why Qantas recently pulled out of Europe and instead chose to form an alliance with Emirates.
Qantas plans to flying passengers to Europe via Dubai, instead of through Singapore, from March 31. Switching its hub to Dubai for flights to Europe was a key part of the alliance deal with Emirates.
With Singapore keen to retain its position as the alternative international hub for Europe-Australia travel, tourists and businesspeople on Phuet can expect to benefit as competition hots up.
The Phuket-Dubai-Phuket time slots from December 11 are to be:
EK 379 Departing Phuket 00.35 Arriving Dubai 04.35
EK 378 Departing Dubai 12.45 Arriving Phuket 21.55
Existing return fares are 31,565 baht economy, 64,680 baht business, and 103,680 first class.
The advent of Emirates on a direct Phuket-Dubai-Phuket service indicates that the world's leading airline thinks the tourism industry here has a big future.
The airline's onlline sit says: ''Every Emirates flight to Phuket offers award-winning service, gourmet cuisine and the latest inflight entertainment and information. With our generous baggage allowance and spacious cabins across all classes, you will enjoy your flight to Phuket as much as the destination itself.''
''Travel to Phuket
Travellers flying to Phuket arrive at the Phuket International Airport, about 32km from downtown Phuket, or 45 minutes by car. Travel between the airport and the city is easy with many options available including taxis, limousine services, minibuses, car hire and public transport. For those travelling to Phuket the Government run Airport Bus is one of the most reasonable ways of getting to the city, while limousines, although costlier, are more comfortable.''
Emirates has yet to establish a Phuket office. The telephone number for Emirates bookings is 02 6641040.
Passenger numbers arriving and departing Phuket are on schedule to hit a record 9.3 million at Phuket International Airport this year.