AoT anticipates nosedive for air traffic
Airports of Thailand (AoT) Plc predicts deep negative growth for aircraft traffic and air passengers in the kingdom as the Covid-19 pandemic has forced many airports and airlines into submission.
The figures were released at a meeting on Wednesday chaired by AoT president Nitinai Sirismatthakarn.
The AoT predicts 493,800 flights will fly in and out of Thailand in the year to September, representing 44.9% negative growth compared to the same period previously. It is also forecast that 66.5 million air passengers will arrive in the kingdom, a 53.1% slump in growth.
Mr Nitinai said how slow or fast aviation businesses recover from the virus crisis depends largely on the rate of recovery of countries connected by the airports. For Thailand, 80% of the connected countries are in the Asia Pacific region.
According to the International Air Transport Association (IATA), Asia-Pacific airlines’ February traffic plummeted 30.4% compared to the same period a year ago, steeply reversing a 3% gain in January.
The association said governments must work with the industry on confidence-boosting measures in the face of an anticipated slow recovery in demand for air travel.
“Passenger confidence will suffer a double whammy even after the pandemic is contained - hit by personal economic concerns in the face of a looming recession on top of lingering concerns about the safety of travel,” said Alexandre de Juniac, IATA’s director-general and CEO.
The IATA commissioned a survey of recent travellers which found 60% anticipate a return to travel within one to two months of containment of the Covid-19 pandemic, but 40% indicate they could wait six months or more.
Also, 69% indicated they could delay a return to travel until their personal financial situation stabilises.
Meanwhile, the AoT board has approved the setting up of a company to manage the Perishable Premium Lane (PPL), which forms part of the centre to provide a dedicated service in certifying farm products earmarked for export.
The AoT will hold a 49% share in the firm which is expected to open in November.