Airports of Thailand back in profit

Airports of Thailand back in profit

Passengers arriving from Japan make their way through the Satellite 1 (SAT-1) terminal at Suvarnabhumi airport. (Photo: Varuth Hirunyatheb)
Passengers arriving from Japan make their way through the Satellite 1 (SAT-1) terminal at Suvarnabhumi airport. (Photo: Varuth Hirunyatheb)

Airports of Thailand Plc recorded an 8.79 billion baht net profit in fiscal 2023, compared with an 11.09 billion baht net loss in fiscal 2022 and expects returns to be close to pre-Covid levels next year.

The chief executive officer, Kirati Kitmanawat, said on Tuesday that all six airports operated by AoT showed better performance in the just concluded fiscal year as the post Covid-19 situation improved and the aviation and tourism sectors began recovering.

AoT operates Suvarnabhumi, Don Mueang, Chiang Mai, Chiang Rai, Phuket and Hat Yai airports. The fiscal year runs from October to end September.

In fiscal 2023, the six airports served 639,891 flights, up 62.22% year-on-year, handling 100.06 million passengers, up by 114.31%, Mr Kirati said.

"In 2023, we had 100 million passengers. In 2019, before Covid, there were 120 million passengers. We expect the number will be close (to the pre-Covid amount) in 2024," the AoT CEO said.

The visa-free scheme of the government for the high season was raising the number of visitors. Mr Kirati said numbers rose from 13,000 to 16,000 a day for Chinese visitors, from 230 to 500 a day for Kazakhs, from 5,000 to 6,000 a day for Indians and from 3,000 to 4,500 a day for Taiwanese visitors.

He said AoT was developing its six airports to support tourism growth. A third runway would be opened at Suvarnabhumi next year, lifting its capacity from the current 68 flights an hour to 94 flights an hour.

From 2024 to 2029, AoT planned to invest 96 billion baht in airport development, Mr Kirati said.

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