The board of Airports of Thailand Plc (AoT) plans to raise its passenger service charge from 100 baht to 200 baht for passengers on domestic flights and from 700 to 800 baht for passengers on international flights to cut its losses.
AoT chairman Sita Divari said the board resolved to raise the fees yesterday and the new rates should take effect late next year.
He said AoT would have to seek approval from the Civil Aviation Board and inform travellers six months in advance. Sqn Ldr Sita said the fee increases will add 3.8 billion baht to AoT's annual revenue of 16.7 billion baht.
The increments will cut its losses from passenger services as they cost 336 baht per domestic passenger while the cost for international passenger services stands at more than 500 baht. AoT tolerates losses in its services for domestic passengers to promote domestic tourism.
"AoT does not expect to make a huge profit but is intending to ease the loss. I do not believe that the change will cut the number of Thai air passengers," Sqn Ldr Sita said.
In exchange for the passenger service charge increases, AoT will offer a refund or free air ticket to every passenger suffering a flight delay of three hours or longer.
AoT management is negotiating the issue with insurance firms, which usually offer such compensation for delays of at least five hours.
Sqn Ldr Sita said the AoT board planned to raise bonus payments for AoT staff this year because it earned more from the increasing number of air passengers, made a 3-billion-baht profit from a yen-denominated debt swap and made additional income after reopening Don Mueang airport.
An AoT source said a net profit of 14-17 billion baht was posted in the 2013 fiscal year (from October last year to September this year _ double the net profit of 6.5 billion baht in the previous fiscal year). The AoT board resolved to pay an 11-month bonus this year.
AoT deputy chairman Pongsak Semsan said yesterday the board appointed Makin Petplai, former executive vice-president of Thaicom Plc, as the new president of AoT. He is expected to take up the post before Nov 25.
Meanwhile, tour agents in Songkhla province are complaining about Public Health Minister Pradit Sintawanarong's proposal to collect a health service charge of up to 500 baht from each foreign tourist early next year.