Holiday boost for airports
Thailand's six main airports recorded a robust rise in passenger traffic and aircraft movements in the first two months of 2017.
Propelled by holiday travels, the total number of passengers passing through those airports, including gateway Suvarnabhumi, jumped 7.7% to 23.3 million during January-February.
Aircraft movements through airports operated by state-run Airports of Thailand Plc (AoT) grew in tandem, rising 5.7% year-on-year to 139,890, according to AoT figures.
Domestic passenger traffic grew at a faster pace than international numbers.
Domestic passenger volumes surged 11.6% to 10.3 million while international numbers reached 13 million, up 4.8%.
Travel during the New Year and Lunar New Year celebrations was said to help the acceleration of airport throughput.
Suvarnabhumi showed the smallest growth in passenger traffic compared with five other airports but still handled the largest numbers at 10.8 million.
Its 6% growth was due mainly to the airport's capacity constraints as the volumes it handled were 25% over its design capacity of 45 million passengers a year.
Don Mueang, Thailand's second-busiest airport and one of Asia's largest hubs for low-cost carriers, increased its passenger traffic by 7.2% to 6.3 million.
Phuket airport boosted passenger traffic by 9.1% to 3.13 million, while Chiang Mai showed nearly similar growth, at 9.8% to 1.9 million.
Hat Yai's numbers jumped 20.1% to 714,180, whereas Chiang Rai ballooned 22.8% to 442,280.