Air traffic through Thailand's six key airports registered double-digit growth last year, driven largely by the surge in international tourism flows and the proliferation of low-cost airlines (LCCs).
Combined passenger throughput last year rose by 11.9% year-on-year to 74.3 million, while total take-offs and landings grew by 10.5% to 496,749, according to preliminary figures released yesterday by Airports of Thailand Plc.
Last year's momentum is expected to continue this year, with aggregate passenger numbers projected to rise to 78 million and aircraft movements to 540,000, said acting president Somchai Sawasdeepon.
"If you look at the rapid fleet expansion of LCCs alone, with Thai AirAsia planning to add more Airbus 320 jets this year, it should generate a lot more airport traffic," he said.
Passengers through Bangkok's two airports from Dec 25 to Jan 2 soared to 1.68 million, up by 23% from a year ago. This bests the 10% projected rise before the start of the holidays, Mr Somchai noted.
Passenger traffic for the whole year totalled 46 million international passengers and 28.3 million domestic. Flight movements numbered 275,422 international and 221,327 domestic.
The bulk of all passenger traffic and aircraft movements are at Suvarnabhumi, Thailand's gateway and one of Southeast Asia's busiest air hubs, with a record of almost 51.5 million passengers and 312,493 flights.
Phuket airport, the country's second-busiest airfield and a heavily congested one, last year handled 9.44 million passengers and 60,457 flights.
About the author
- Writer: Boonsong Kositchotethana
Position: Deputy Editor Business