The aviation industry is making a recovery from the impact of the Covid-19 and Airports of Thailand (AoT) expects to see a full recovery in passenger traffic to pre-pandemic levels by the end of 2024.
AOT president Nitinai Sirismatthakarn said on Monday this fiscal year should see a return of 45 million passengers, about 33% of the pre-Covid-19 figures, and the percentage is expected to increase to 77% in 2023 and to 142 million passengers in 2024.
Several aviation agencies including International Civil Aviation Organisation and the International Air Transport Association expect the aviation industry to return to pre-pandemic in 2024.
However, while AoT is fully ready for full operations following the easing of travel restrictions, the situation may not be the same for some airlines, ground services and cargo warehouses, he said.
The aviation sector took the full force of the pandemic, and AoT is aware of the impacts of the pandemic on the operations and liquidity of other businesses in the aviation supply chain.
Many businesses have been forced to scale down their operations to reduce costs and the number of aircraft and routes reduced by 40%-50%. Some cash-strapped airlines have entered into financial rehabilitation processes.
"It remains to be seen if the related businesses can return to full operations over the next year, and make the industry return to normal in 2024 as expected," he said.
AoT expects to see financial losses this year and while it has high hopes of turning profit next year its performance will also depend on how related businesses perform, he said.
He said the number of passengers is expected to reach about 96 million next year, with air traffic is likely to be split between domestic and international flights.
"AoT may turn profit next year but it depends on cost management and a return of Chinese travellers," he said.