Airlines seek redistribution of flight slots

Airlines seek redistribution of flight slots

Many airlines are requesting a redistribution of slots as they expand flights into Thailand, according to a source at the Civil Aviation Authority of Thailand (CAAT).

The source said the request was put to CAAT executives by various airlines at the 153rd Slot Conference held from Nov 14-17 in Dubai.

The meeting, organised twice a year by the International Air Transport Association (IATA), provided an opportunity for airlines to negotiate and obtain the slots that will give them the best possible schedule to offer their customers at coordinated airports.

The new slots for both passenger planes and cargo flights will kick off during the summer schedule next year. The flights will operate into and out of the country's main airports, namely, Suvarnabhumi, Don Mueang, Phuket and Chiang Mai.

The conference was informed of Phuket airport's expansion in handling capacity, which has increased to 25 flights an hour. The growth is to accommodate efforts to promote tourism.

At the same time, Suvarnabhumi airport is due to open its third runway in the middle of next year ahead of the busy winter schedule. The new runway will raise its capacity from 68 to 94 flights an hour.

Meanwhile, Airports of Thailand Plc recorded 8.79 billion baht in net profit for the 2023 fiscal year, compared with an 11.09 billion baht net loss in the previous fiscal year. It said it expects returns to be close to pre-Covid levels next year.

Its CEO Kirati Kitmanawat said on Tuesday that all six airports operated by AoT showed a better performance in the just concluded fiscal year as the post Covid-19 situation has improved and the aviation and tourism sectors are recovering.

AoT operates Suvarnabhumi, Don Mueang, Chiang Mai, Chiang Rai, Phuket and Hat Yai airports.

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