Mjets, Thailand's largest executive jet charter and ground handling service provider, expects double-digit growth in private jet traffic handling at its Don Mueang terminal this year.
Jaiyavat: Phuket congestion a problem
The company projects 18% growth in its handlings in 2013, rising to 100 flights per month from about 85 last year.
Executive chairman Jaiyavat Navaraj said that is an organic growth projection, and in the absence of political violence in Thailand, it could climb higher.
The country is fast becoming a popular destination for the super rich, tycoons, executives and celebrities who travel on private jets for pleasure and business, he said.
Mjets' private jet handling volume would grow at a much faster pace if there were no restrictions for landing and parking for private jets at Phuket airport, as heavy congestion there has led authorities to give priority to commercial airlines, said Mr Jaiyavat.
The restrictions encompass denials or extended delays for specific requested times for landings and take-offs, known as "time slots", raising concerns that private jet clients may stop flying to Phuket, which ranks second for private jet traffic.
As overcrowding at Phuket worsens and the 5.7-billion-baht airport expansion takes another two years to complete, restrictions for private jets could continue unabated or even increase in severity, chasing away private jet flyers, said Mr Jaiyavat.
But its overall positive business outlook has Mjets pondering acquiring another aircraft to add to its fleet of four jets.
They include the ultra-long range Gulfstream V.
About the author
- Writer: Boonsong Kositchotethana
Position: Deputy Editor Business