Some 65 million passengers, a 13% rise, are expected to use Thailand’ airports in the 2011 fiscal year, from October 2010 to through November this year, according to the Airports Authority of Thailand (AoT).
Globally, Bangkok is the third-most-popular destination among air travellers and comes fourth in terms of visitor spending.
About 11.5 million air travellers are expected to visit Bangkok and spend US$14.4 billion (Bt436 billion) this year.
However, contrary to the popular perception that most visitors to Thailand are thrifty backpackers, it is estimated that Bangkok’s expenditure per visitor is $1,252, which is ranked third globally after New York ($2,671) and London ($1,274).
AoT’s senior executive vice president and acting president Nirandra Theeranartsin said that 418,000 flights, or an 8-per cent increase, are forecast accordingly. The two figures will be AoT’s highest statistics as a result.
Mr Nirandra said the statistics of passengers using AoT’s six airports who are mainly from China, South Korea and Russia, during the past eight months reached 44.77 million with 295,000 flights operating overall.
AoT’s operation during the past six months of this fiscal year reached a net profit of Bt2.3 billion.
Thailand’s Suvarnabhumi Airport can currently support about 45 million passengers. AoT’s committee consequently agreed to increase its capacity to welcome more travelers, as suggested by International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO).
Domestic terminals are to be built there to support another 20 million passengers with an initial construction budget of Bt9.1 billion and a 44-month construction period.
Meanwhile, Don Mueang Airport’s domestic flight services and operations at its domestic terminal will be moved to its international terminal 1, able to support 16 million passengers per year, in order that the domestic terminal can in the future be used as an aviation maintenance centre.
Around 2.5 million travellers currently use Don Muang Airport, a 43.8-per cent rise year-on-year. The figure is expected to increase to 3.9 million by November.
The Airports Authority of Thailand from November 1, 2011 through October 31, 2013 will reduce landing and take-off fees for airlines operating regular flights. It will also offer such fee reduction and cut down aircraft fees for carriers participating in Don Mueang Airport’s Marketing Incentive Program, expected to help increase the number of passengers, flights and new routes. (MCOT online news)
Bangkok is ranked first among Asian cities
Passenger traffic at Suvarnabhumi Airport rose 9 per cent in the first seven months of the 2011 fiscal year to 40 million, compared with the same period last year, according to Airports of Thailand.
In the OctobertoApril period, flight frequency also increased 11 per cent, to 258,457 flights.
Though May is the start of low season, passenger traffic jumped 39 per cent year on year, while flight freฌquency increased 13 per cent.
AOT told analysts at a meeting yesterday that doubledigit growth in air traffic was likely this year, so long as there was no serious political unrest.
Bangkok is ranked first among Asian cities based on the estimated number of international arrivals by air and the level of visitor expenditure this year, according to the findings of a study conducted by a leading credit-card company.
Beijing and Shanghai are ranked second and third regionally in terms of visitor growth, with growth rates estimated at 20.2% and 18.6% respectively, reflecting their rising attraction as China’s most important destination cities. Shanghai also ranks second in the region for growth in visitor expenditures with 24.3%.