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Thursday, October 24, 2013

Passengers numbers up at most Thailand airports



Airports of Thailand (AoT) wrapped up the financial year (ending September) with 54.3 million international passengers, equating to year-on-year growth of +22.44%.

Standout performers were Chiang Mai and Phuket, while Hat Yai and Chiang Rai actually decreased.

While this may be good for Thailand economically, there are plans afoot from The Public Health Ministry to introduce a visitor tax of up to 500 baht to offset unpaid medical bills.

This rise in international visitor traffic has also caused AoT to fastrack plans for a third runway to handle further predicted traffic increases and serve as a back-up in case one runway is closed, as occurred earlier in September when an aircraft lost landing gear and damaged the tarmac.

This plan was announced despite Suvarnabhumi Airport gaining some reprieve by the reopening of Don Muang Airport (DMK) in October 2012 after temporary closure due to flooding. Don Muang, one of the world’s oldest commercial airports, began operations in 1924 and saw a FY2013 jump of almost 5 per cent in international passengers to 5.1 million. DMK is now (since March 2012) the hub for Low Cost Carriers (LCC) Thai AirAsia, Orient Thai Airlines, Nok Air and Thai Lion Air.

At DMK, the renovated T1 is capable of handling 18.5 million passengers annually and T2 is also due to reopen in 2014 after a 3 billion baht renovation. Together the two terminals should allow DMK to handle 30 million passengers annually.

Suvarnabhumi (BKK), opened in September 2006, is now the 14th busiest airport in the world, sixth busiest airport in Asia with 53 million passengers in 2012. With air cargo, BKK is served by 96 airlines.
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