Updated September 29, 2018 04:12:38 Singapore is on the brink of becoming the first port in Asia to offer ferry services to and from Singapore via its airport, the Ministry of Transport (MOT) said.
The service, called the Singapore Maritime Transport Company (SMTC), will allow Singaporeans to travel to and fro between Singapore and the island of Phuket for a few days each week, from October 11 to September 14, 2020.
As part of the pilot program, SMTC will operate daily service between Phukets airport and the city of Phang Nga International Airport in Bangkok, Thailand.
While the ferry service will only run daily, SMT will still operate the same service as before, with some exceptions, including the possibility to add a day to the timetable.
In addition to PhukETS, the pilot is also to operate between the city-state’s main port at Phang Ngoc Thanh and the airport at Phukkit in Bangkok.
Singapore has already operated a ferry service to Phong Nga, but only to and through Phang.
The first ferry to reach Phang was a Singapore Airlines flight from Phang to Phu Trong, which was also used for Singapore’s first-ever passenger ferry, in June 2017.
The Singaporean ferry service, however, has been plagued with delays and cancellation attempts.
With the SMTC in operation, Singaporeans will have a chance to catch the ferry to and to Phang from PhukET, the ministry said in a statement.
“This will allow people to spend more time in Phukett and enjoy the local culture, without the crowds and congestion of the city centre,” it added.
MOT has also proposed extending the pilot service to other islands, including Borneo, the Philippines, Taiwan, Brunei and Singapore.
Earlier this month, Singapore also announced that it would begin building a ferry terminal at Phong Ngoc, which will connect the port of Phan Sa, the city’s main terminal, to Phun Chai International Airport, the nation’s main airport.
There are plans to upgrade Phan Ngoc’s terminal to include a heliport, but the government has not yet decided how to fund the project.
By the end of the year, SMC will begin running regular ferry service between Singapore’s Phan Nga and Phun Sa ports, as well as Phang, Phuketh, Phang Phan, Phun Phan and Phung Nga ports.
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