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Suvarnabhumi Airport : Flight Status

Sunday, June 22, 2008

Busy airports defy slump

Contraction? What contraction? Air traffic through Thailand's six key airports continued to show good growth last month, defying suggestions that momentum was slowing due to soaring oil prices and the sluggish global economy.

Figures for May from state-controlled Airports of Thailand Plc (AoT) surprised industry analysts as they showed passenger throughput up 8.87% year-on-year and aircraft movements rising 3.78%.

Cumulative passenger traffic (departures, arrivals and transit) in the first five months of this year grew 10% over the same period last year to 26.14 million.

Total international passenger traffic in the five months to May rose 9.43% to 16.35 million, while domestic passenger volume was up 11% to 9.79 million.

Combined aircraft movements including transit through Suvarnabhumi, Don Mueang, Phuket, Chiang Mai, Chiang Rai and Hat Yai airports in the first five months were 173,742. International aircraft movements rose 3.9% to 94,845 while domestic ones rose 5.8% to 78,897.

Total cargo tonnage last month rose 8.5% to 117,769 tonnes, driven largely by a 9.1% gain in international shipments to 109,243 tonnes. Domestic movements were up just 1% to 8,526 tonnes.

Passengers passing through Suvarnabhumi, where most air traffic takes place, rose 9.5% in May to 3.24 million with aircraft movements up 5.3% to 21,461, and freight up 9% to 110,508 tonnes.

International passenger traffic grew 8.1% to 2.71 million while domestic trips rose 17.2% to 522,651.

But on a five-month basis, passenger traffic through Bangkok's main international airport was up only 1.37% over the same period in 2007 to 18.14 million, affected by a lower domestic volume.

Suvarnabhumi's international passenger throughput remained relatively strong in the five-month period, rising 8.8% to 14.97 million, while domestic trips contracted 23.5% to 3.16 million.

But industry analysts predict slower growth in the coming months as result of high fuel prices,inflation, travellers' austerity, and weakening demand in low season that normally lasts until October.

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