Airports expect over 3m travellers during Songkran

Airports expect over 3m travellers during Songkran

A familiar scene at Suvarnabhumi airport during the Songkran holidays. (Photo by Apichart Jinakul)
A familiar scene at Suvarnabhumi airport during the Songkran holidays. (Photo by Apichart Jinakul)

Thailand's six major airports expect more than 3 million inbound and outbound travellers during the Songkran festival starting next week.

Airports of Thailand (AoT) president Nitinai Sirismatthakarn said on Wednesday 3.2 million travellers will use its airports during the seven-day period, up 12.3% from the same period of last year.

Suvarnabhumi is expected to be the busiest airport with 1.37 million travellers over the seven-day period, followed by Don Mueang with 970,000 and Phuket with 458,000.

Despite the smog, Chiang Mai is projected to cater to 246,000 passengers. In the South, Hat Yai expects 87,000 and another 80,000 are anticipated to use the northernmost airport in Chiang Rai.

All six airports are operated by AoT Plc. Other state-run airports are under the Airports Department of the Transport Ministry.

The figures are derived from the number of passengers who have booked flights through the airports. 

AoT did not specify exact dates for the influx of air travellers. The Songkran holiday period runs from April 13-17 this year. Many foreigners visit the country to celebrate the traditional Thai new year, while Thais return to their hometowns or villages, or go on vacation both inside and outside the country.

Mr Nitinai said no there had been no flight cancellations in Chiang Mai and Chiang Rai during the forthcoming holidays despite the toxic air prevailing in the northern region. But tourists might decide at the last minute to bypass the two northern cities in favour of other destinations if the heavy smog continues during Songkran, he added.

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