Thai airports among top for growth

Thai airports among top for growth

A night view of Phuket International Airport. The congested airport was among smaller airports in Asia Pacific to register the highest growth in passenger volumes in August. (Photo: AoT)
A night view of Phuket International Airport. The congested airport was among smaller airports in Asia Pacific to register the highest growth in passenger volumes in August. (Photo: AoT)

Two of Thailand's busiest airports, Suvarnabhumi and Phuket, were among the Asia-Pacific airports with the highest growth rates in passenger throughput in August.

Suvarnabhumi ranked third among the largest airports in the region with 15.3% growth, after Shanghai Pudong and New Delhi which registered 20.9% and 16% rise, respectively, in the period.

Figures released yesterday by Airports Council International (ACI) also showed that Phuket had growth of 21.4% in August. It is among regional airports capable of handling 5-15 million passengers a year.

Statistics from Airports of Thailand Plc showed that Suvarnabhumi processed 4.65 million passengers in August, up from 4.01 million in the same month last year.

Phuket had 1.13 million passengers compared with 938,039 in August 2014.

ACI cited the holiday season for continuing to drive robust passenger traffic in Asia-Pacific.

However, airports in the Middle East, treated as a separate region by ACI, outpaced those in Asia-Pacific with a 15% jump in the same month, showing their growing importance as air hubs.

The three largest hubs in the Middle East continued to generate solid growth for the month: Doha up 22%, Abu Dhabi 17.4% and Dubai 9.5%.

But air freight remained weak and continued to be affected by the slowdown across Asian export markets and oil-producing economies, ACI pointed out.

Freight volumes in August were essentially flat in Asia-Pacific at 0% and in the Middle East at 0.9%.

Meanwhile, a report issued yesterday by the International Air Transport Association showed that passenger travel on international markets was up 5.4% in August year-on-year, reflecting strong growth within Europe.

Both travel classes showed an above-trend rise in August year-on-year, with premium travel up 5.3% and economy travel up 5.4%.

Economy-class travel, which is the more price-sensitive market, has experienced stronger growth so far this year, supported by lower fares in recent months.

But growth in premium international travel has been subdued because of weakness in drivers of business travel demand, particularly in emerging markets.

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