Passenger traffic to May shoots up 7.71%

Passenger traffic to May shoots up 7.71%

Busy traffic at Don Mueang airport, one of major airports operated by the AoT. SEKSAN ROJJANAMETAKUL
Busy traffic at Don Mueang airport, one of major airports operated by the AoT. SEKSAN ROJJANAMETAKUL

Passenger traffic through Thailand's major airports grew 7.71% in the first five months of this year, reaching 56.2 million.

The January to May growth rate was considered by industry analysts as fairly robust as arrivals from China, the country's top tourist source, has made a steady recovery from the fallout of the zero-dollar tour scam clampdown that began in July last year.

A rise in passenger volume through the six airports operated by the Airports of Thailand Plc (AoT) was also registered despite the seasonal slowdown in international arrivals and reduced services at Suvarnabhumi airport.

There was a partial closure of a runway at Suvarnabhumi, the country's main gateway airport, for repairs, running from March 3 to May 2.

The latest figures from AoT, whose airports handle the bulk of air traffic in Thailand, showed that total aircraft movements through its facilities rose 5.74% in the January to May period to 346,613.

International passenger traffic for the period rose 5.86% to 31.7 million, while domestic numbers leapt 10.2% to 24.5 million.

In terms of aircraft movements -- take-offs and landings -- international numbers inched up 2.07% in the period to 174,639, while domestic ones jumped 9.76% to 171,974.

Two of the six AoT-operated airports -- Hat Yai and Chiang Rai -- registered double-digit growth in passenger traffic, while the larger-capacity airports sustained a single-digit increase.

Chiang Rai handled 22.2% more passengers, reaching 1.03 million, while Hat Yai processed 1.87 million -- a 15.5% increase.

Passenger traffic growth for the four other airports during the period was 5.86% at Suvarnabhumi (25.8 million); 8.06% at Don Mueang (15.9 million); 9.22% at Phuket (7.27 million); and 9.03% at Chiang Mai (4.27 million).

Meanwhile, there was significant improvement in cargo movements through AoT-run airports in the five months, boasting an 11.6% uptick to 639,446.

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