Qatar Airways is greeted with a traditional water cannon salute when it arrives at a new travel destination.
Located in Ban Chang, Rayong, Thailand, U-Tapao / Rayong / Pattaya International Airport is roughly a 45 to 50 minute drive from Pattaya.
Until recently, U-Tapao had only a limited number of domestic flights and an even smaller number of regional flights. But that is starting to change as the airport is upgraded and expanded.
Qatar Airways, in fact, has announced that it will launch four times weekly flights from the airport to its hub at Doha on 28 January 2018.
U-Tapao is a hub for Thai AirAsia and Nok Air. Other airlines offering regularly scheduled service at the airport include Bangkok Airways, China Southern Airlines, Donghai Airlines, Hainan Airlines, and Kan Air.
Domestic travel destinations include Chiang Mai, Hat Yai, Koh Samui, Phuket, Udon Thani, and Ubon Ratchathani. Foreign travel destinations include Kuala Lumper, Malaysia; Macau;, and three airports in China: Sanya, Shanghai-Pudong, and Shenzhen.
There is also chartered service to Russia and other cities in China.
When a second terminal opens, the airport's capacity will be increased from 800,000 passengers a year to 3 million.
When a second expansion phase is completed, capacity will be increased to 15 million passengers a year.