Air passenger numbers soar

File photo: Bangkok Post

Airports of Thailand Public Company Limited (AoT) expects about 1 million passengers, both domestic and international, to pass through its six airports during the Songkran holidays this week.

AoT president Nitinai Sirismatthakarn said the number of air travellers has gone up since the government eased many Covid-19 restrictions and dropped pre-arrival RT-PCR testing on April 1.

From April 1-7, a total of 894,756 air travellers passed through Suvarnabhumi (BKK), Don Mueang (DMK), Chiang Mai (CNX), Chiang Rai (CEI), Phuket (HKT) and Hat Yai (HDY).

The daily average of 127,822 passengers was a jump from the figure of 107,194 recorded last month.

The overall tally was made up of 202,280 international passengers, up 39% from last month, and 692,476 domestic travellers, up 14%.

In terms of air traffic, the airports logged 8,245 flights in the first seven days in April, or 1,178 flights a day on average, with international flights up by 5% while domestic flights are up by 15%.

The AoT expects even busier flight and passenger traffic during the Songkran holidays this week with 9,310 flights expected to be handled by the airports, up 14% from last year's Songkran period.

Of them, 6,820 will be domestic flights, down 2% year on year and 2,490 scheduled as international flights, up 123% from the same time last year.

According to the AoT, about one million passengers will use the six airports during the Songkran festival, a surge of 103% from 12 months ago.

The 843,220 domestic passengers will represent a hike of 62% and the 238,800 international passengers a whopping 1,798% increase on the same period last year.

Mr Nitinai added AoT has introduced the Common Use Passenger Processing Systems (CUPPS) at all of its airports.

This step is intended to speed up passenger transit and also keep the airports clear and safe.

Common use self-check ins as well as the common use bag drop points are designed to help cut long queues at pre-flight check-in desks.

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