Phuket’s X-Terminal to be tested by Russians, Chinese
Phuket’s X-Terminal officially opened yesterday and will begin serving the island’s two largest source markets on Wednesday.
“The first two weeks are trial weeks for the terminal. We will start with six charter flights per day: three to Russia and three to China,” said Director of Phuket International Airport Pratuang Sornkham.
“During this period, we will make sure that the check-in system works correctly. By the end of the month, all departing international charter flights must check in at the X-Terminal.”
Phuket International Airport is the only airport in Thailand that has a terminal dedicated to serving charter flight passengers, Phuket Governor Maitri Inthusut said at the opening.
Gov Maitri said, “The main Phuket terminal is under construction, and will be finished in 2015.
“Ahead of its completion, we needed to solve congestion issues by building Terminal X to lighten the load on the existing infrastructure. The budget for Terminal X was B151 million and it took four months to finish.
“There were an average of 37,524 passengers per day in and out of Phuket Airport between January 1 and 29 this year,” added the Governor. “The designed capacity of Phuket Airport is 20,000 passengers per day.”
“The airport saw an average of 224 flights per day – arrivals and departures – during the same period, but the standard capacity is 160 flights per day.”
Stating the figures, Gov Maitree said, “There were 61,004 flights in 2012 and 72,590 flights in 2013, an increase of 18.99 per cent; and 9,526,243 passengers in 2012 and 11,328,314 passengers in 2013, an increase of 18.92 per cent.”
The new Terminal X will be able to accommodate 1,000 people at any one time, and will be opened 24 hours a day. Initially there will be only two charter flights: Jet Asia Airlines with three flights per day from China, and UT Air with three flights per day from Russia.
“Terminal X will be a hub for the Andaman region, and help us while we expand the airport,” said Gov Maitree.
“There are 10 check-in counters, parking spaces for 1,000 cars, shopping areas, and five airplane bays that will be finished in May. Four languages – English, Russian, Chinese and Thai will be used for communication.”