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Suvarnabhumi Airport : Flight Status

Saturday, May 24, 2008

UN head in Bangkok before visit to cyclone-hit Myanmar

UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon arrived here Wednesday before heading for Myanmar to visit cyclone-affected areas and meet Myanmar leaders, in a bid to urge them to open further for international relief staff and to source more "non-politicized" assistance.

Upon his arrival at Bangkok's Suvarnabhumi Airport Wednesday afternoon, Ban told journalists that he will fly to Myanmar Thursday morning "to see for myself the affected areas and to meet the people crying in need and demonstrate my sympathy and support for all those people who suffered from this Cyclone Nargis."

He will also meet senior officials of the Myanmar government, including the top leader Senior General Than Shwe, he said.

On Friday evening, Ban will be back in Bangkok to meet with Thai PM Samak Sundarvej and Foreign Minister Noppadon on the next day.

On Sunday, he will fly back to Yangon, the former capital of Myanmar, to attend the International Pledging Conference co-organized by the United Nations (UN) and the association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), to talk with Myanmar officials, leaders of ASEAN countries and international donors to source international assistance for relief and rehabilitation work in Myanmar.

"This is a critical moment for Myanmar. The government itself accepted that they have never been devastated to this stage in the history. We have a functioning relief program in place, but so far we have been able to reach only about 25 percent of the people in need," the UN head said.

The UN has received permission of Myanmar government to have nine World Food Program (WFP) helicopters to carry emergency supplies to Myanmar, Ban noted, while urging the Myanmar side to "gallop" cooperation.

Economic effects brought by the Cyclone that hit Myanmar on May3, are severe, with 60 percent of infrastructure in Irrawaddy area having been destroyed, farmlands on risk, and an estimated loss often billion U.S. dollars.

One of the objectives for the UN head's visit is "to reinforce partnership between Myanmar and the international community, including ASEAN and key neighboring countries like India and China. This is will be the primary focus of the May 25 pledging conference and the special taskforce comprising ASEAN and UN," Ban said.

The aim is to make sure that the immediate relief efforts are well coordinated, efficiently delivered and effective to help Myanmar people overcome this tragedy, he added.

He stressed that all assistance or aid to Myanmar "should not be politicized", "Our focus now is saving lives."

John Holmes, UN Under Secretary General for Humanitarian Affairs, told Xinhua that one of the major focus of talks of the UN Secretary-General in Myanmar will be urging Myanmar government to open further and act quicker for foreign aid and relief workers to reach the affected people. More permissions for helicopters carrying aid to affected areas will be sought.

Thai Foreign Minister Noppadon said at least the ten members of ASEAN (Association of Southeast Asian Nations) has promised to respectively dispatch a 30-strong medical team to Myanmar in the next few days, as a start for the UN-ASEAN Task Force led by ASEAN Secretary-General Surin Pitsuwan to coordinate assistance efforts in Myanmar.


Saturday, May 17, 2008

Suvarnabhumi cargo posts Q1 increase

Bangkok’s Suvarnabhumi Airport reported a 5.55 percent increase in first quarter cargo throughput, handling 321,041 tonnes in the first three months.

The vast majority of the volume – 313,987 tonnes – was international, with 7,054 tonnes comprising domestic cargo, said Suvarnabhumi general manager Serirat Prasutanond.

There were 67,032 aircraft movements with 51,056 international flights representing a 4.19 percent increase. The 15,976 domestic flights were down 36.01 percent on last year as almost half the airport’s domestic traffic was transferred to Bangkok’s old Don Muang Airport

By March 31, there were 111 scheduled flights using Suvarnabhumi, comprising 88 passenger airlines, 12 all-cargo and 11 code share flights.

Taxi driver dies of heart failure behind wheel

A foreign passenger managed to stop a taxi safely after its driver suddenly died apparently of heart failure behind the scene Saturday morning, police said.

The taxi was on an elevated way after having left the Suvarnabhumi International Airport by about 2 kilometres when its driver, Weerapol Rungsup, 61, became unconscious.

The taxi was carrying a Thai woman, Pratya Pawapuchakang, 31, and her two foreign friends from the airport.

The woman told police that the car suddenly lost control and it sway left and pressed against the wall for several metres before her friend on the front passenger seat steered the car to park safely.

The woman and friends tried to wake up the taxi driver but found that he had already died.

AOT reshuffle key to suvarnabhumi plan

Airports of Thailand's new board of directors is set to back an overhaul of the partly state-owned company's top management to boost profitability and prepare for Suvarnabhumi Airport's second-phase development.

The revamp, due next month, will allow AOT's president Chana U-sathaporn to appoint suitable persons to key positions so that he can deliver better results.

Senior management changes include positions for Suvarnabhumi Airport's general manager and vice presidents, an AOT source said.

Chana and the board have agreed that the company needs to boost profits and generate a return on investment for its shareholders.

Last year, AOT's net profit plummeted 89.5 per cent to Bt1.094 billion due mainly to the withholding of Bt3.6 billion in concession payments from King Power, which operates the airport's duty-free and commercial areas.

AOT was also saddled with higher expenses, such as Bt6.2 billion for the depreciation of Suvarnabhumi, Bt2.2 billion for loan interest and Bt1.8 billion for operations.

AOT's plan for the rest of the year calls for cuts in personnel costs and finding new revenues from 1,140 rai of commercial space at Suvarnabhumi and the company's international airports in Phuket, Chiang Mai and Chiang Rai.

The board has agreed to proceed with the second-phase development of Suvarnabhumi to meet an increase in passenger traffic.

The source said AOT would show better results this year, since it can now book revenues from King Power following a preliminary resolution on earlier disputes.

Monday, May 5, 2008

Suvarnabhumi to get B73bn injection

Bangkok´s Suvarnabhumi airport is set to continue its expansion with the news that Thailand´s Transport Ministry is preparing to launch a second-phase of development which will see some Bt73 billion pumped into 10 separate initiatives.

According to the Bangkok Post, plans to expand the 1.5-year-old airport were raised at yesterday´s meeting between Transport Minister Santi Prompat and representatives from Airports of Thailand (AoT) and the Civil Aviation Department.

At least two of the 10 mooted projects, namely the creation of a third runway and the hiring of the Project Management Consultant group (PMC), are expected to kick off before the end of 2008.

Other projects which include the construction of an automated people mover, car park and a noise pollution reduction scheme, all of which are expected to be implemented before 2014.

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