AOT plans for air travel revival next year

AOT plans for air travel revival next year

It is predicted that international travel demand will revive significantly in the last quarter of 2021 and Airports of Thailand (AOT), which manages six airports including Suvarnabhumi, says it will have business and marketing plans in place to deal with it.

The AOT is preparing to draw up short-term business and marketing plans for 2021-2022 when international flights are expected to resume. According to AOT, the move is based on discussions during a virtual meeting titled "The Route Reconnected" that took place between Nov 30 and Dec 4 to help the aviation industry reshape air services in the wake of the pandemic.

About 80% of domestic flights have resumed, but most Asian countries do not allow international commercial flights to operate. The situation has forced airlines and airports around the world to find new revenue streams in cargo operations and chartered flights.

The virtual event, organised by Informa Ltd, was intended to provide opportunities for the aviation community to meet and forge partnerships. Earlier, the AOT said it would have to find new revenue streams between 2021-2022 when the number of air travellers heading to the country is estimated to be around 55 million and 128 million respectively. In July, the AOT predicted passenger arrivals to drop sharply to 38.81 million this year, down from 141 million last year.

AOT president Nitinai Sirismatthakarn said at that time the agency concluded that four related businesses -- food, cargo, ground services and maintenance -- were at risk and would affect AOT's services and operations.

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