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Major airports get ready for big high-season fillip

October 25, 2012

Thailand’s six major airports expect double-digit percentage growth in passenger throughput during the coming high season as international carriers ramp up capacity to cash in on surging demand.

The increases, ranging from 13.6% to 61.3%, are based on anticipated traffic as notified to Airports of Thailand (AoT) by airlines.

The uptick reflects a recovery in travel sentiment, which was partly subdued by the flood crisis during the same period last year.

Suvarnabhumi, the country’s largest international airport, will see the largest number rise rise in passenger volume over the six-month period starting this coming Sunday.

An average of 142,000 passengers a day will pass through Suvarnabhumi, from 119,000 now, an increase of 19.3%.

Anirut Thanomkulbutra, the president of AoT, said the rise will correspond with airlines’ plans to increase total flight frequencies through Suvarnabhumi to 802 a day from 715 at present.

About 110,000 international passengers are expected to pass through Suvarnabhumi on 626 flights each day during the coming high season.

Most arrivals will be from China and India, which are Thailand’s top tourist markets.

Some 32,000 of Suvarnabhumi’s passenger traffic will be travelling domestically on 176 flights a day.

Phuket airport will see the second-largest passenger increase, up by 23.9% to 31,000 a day, while daily flights will rise to 178 from 163.

Chiang Mai airport expects growth in passenger throughput of 26.7% to 15,000 a day in the new season as flight frequencies rise to 124 a day from 97.

Hat Yai airport’s passenger traffic is expected to jump by 27.3% to 7,000 a day, with aircraft movements growing to 47 a day from 40.

Chiang Rai airport envisages a 13.6% increase in passenger volume to 2,500 a day, whereas flights will reach 22 a day from 18.

At Bangkok’s old Don Mueang airport, which resumed being a fully functional airport on Oct 1, AoT expects a 61.3% leap in passenger traffic to 40,000 a day in the new season.

The numbers of daily flights through Don Mueang will increase to 322 from 277, driven largely by flights put through by no-frills carrier AirAsia, which moved there from Suvarnabhumi on Oct 1.

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