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Holiday season: Airport traffic rises 8.5-8.8% in Thailand

Holiday season: Airport traffic rises 8.5-8.8% in Thailand

BANKOK: Political turmoil depressed growth to the Passenger traffic through all six of Thailand’s main airports this holiday season is enjoying a healthy recovery from a year ago.

The period between Dec 26 and Jan 5 will witness an increase of 8.5% in overall passenger throughput and 8.8% in aircraft movements through airports operated by Airports of Thailand Plc (AoT).

A total of 3.4 million passengers or 309,111 a day and 22,110 aircraft movements or 2,010 a day are expected to take off and land at the six airports including Suvarnabhumi in this Christmas-New Year festive season, SET-listed AoT said.

The rise reflects the return in air traffic growth throughout the country, driven by the post-coup political stability that has been reviving inbound tourism, which constitutes a good part of Thailand’s overall air traffic.

All but two of the six AoT-operated airports envisage a double-digit growth in the period, while Suvarnabhumi and Phuket airports see a decline.

Suvarnabhumi, the country’s main gateway airport, expects a 4.4% drop in passenger traffic to a daily average of 152,560, and a 1.5% fall in aircraft take-off and landings to 903 a day.

Phuket, the country’s third busiest airport, will see a 2.5% drop in passenger throughput to 36,280 a day, and the number of flights dropping 2.7% to 220 a day.

Chiang Mai’s popularity with tourists this holiday season will increase passenger traffic and aircraft movements at its airport up by 21.4% and 21.1% respectively to 26,105 and 195. Its northern neighbor Chiang Rai airport is projected to register a 26.2% and 63% growth in passenger volumes and aircraft movements to 5,266 and 44, respectively.

Down south, passenger and aircraft movement tallies at Hat Yai airport will witness a 32.6% and 28.3% rise respectively, or to a daily average of 9,600 and 68.

AoT shares closed Friday on the SET at 278 baht, up 2 baht, in trading worth 333 million baht.