From November this year, the German leisure carrier Condor plans a weekly flight from Frankfurt to Phuket that will pause on the way in the old Burmese capital of Yangon, formerly known as Rangoon.
In a major survey of the coming aviation boom to Burma, the Centre for Aviation reports that the new Condor service ''recognises the huge potential of Myanmar's tourism industry as the country emerges as an up and coming tourist destination.''
More people in Phuket's tourism industry are recognising the importance of emerging Burma to tourism in South-East Asia and the possibility of tourists who once enjoyed Phuket's pristine beaches being attracted by what Thailand's less-developed neighbor will soon have to offer.
Opening up Burma via a link from Europe to Phuket makes sense. But Phuket tourism will have to work hard over time to remain competitive on prices and natural assets.
The opening of Burma to tourism should trigger a major reevaluation of Phuket's appeal - and the implementation of a strategy to preserve and protect its major assets, the beaches and the coral reefs.
As the yachting and diving hub for much of the region, and with diving connections already clearly established between Phuket and Burma's best diving sites, Phuket's future will - at least in the early stages - probably be boosted as Burma opens up.
Any tourism strategy for Phuket also needs to include Phang Nga and Krabi, with the future of the three Andaman provinces now clearly intertwined and reliant on a change in approach and a rejection of the ''anything goes'' philosophy of many local council administrators.
''Qatar Airways has unveiled plans to open in October a thrice weekly service from Doha to Yangon,'' reports the Centre for Aviation.
''Several carriers are now considering following China Eastern in launching service to Mandalay, including Bangkok Airways, Thai AirAsia and new Thai Airways regional unit Thai Smile.
'' At least one of these carriers is likely launch flights to Mandalay by year-end. New services from Mandalay from Bangkok as well as nearby Chang Mai in northern Thailand are possible.''
A direct service from Mandalay to Singapore and Kuala Lumpur is also likely, the report adds.
''Low frequency flights connecting Mandalay with popular tourist destinations in Laos and Cambodia could also be appealing as tourists visiting the Mekong region often look to combine multiple destinations,'' it says.
''Some foreign carriers including Bangkok Airways and Thai AirAsia also have been examining potential service to Bagan, another famous tourist site located between Yangon and Mandalay.
''But Bagan is currently only a domestic airport and industry sources do not expect it will be upgraded anytime soon to accommodate international services.''
The report makes the point that lack of airport capacity for taking large aircraft and a shortage of hotels and other accommodation will apply a brake to Burma's development.
But China is already the second largest source of tourists for Myanmar after Thailand, so expect change to come rapidly.
''If foreign carriers are too aggressive, there could be a period of overcapacity,'' concludes the report. ''But over the medium to long term, Myanmar is undeniably a market which will be able to support a huge increase in capacity from a wide mix of carriers.''