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Suvarnabhumi Airport : Flight Status

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Flight cuts taking toll on Thai traffic

Signs of a slowdown in air traffic through Thailand's six main airports clearly emerged last month as spiking fuel oil prices and low-season demand forced airlines to cut flights.

June's combined passenger throughput grew only 3.87% year-on-year, down from 8.89% in May. Total aircraft movements contracted 1.30% from 3.78% growth a month earlier.

Passenger flows through Suvarnabhumi, Don Mueang, Phuket, Chiang Mai, Chiang Rai and Hat Yai airports was 4.21 million last month, versus 4.56 million in May and 5.04 million in April, according to figures from Airports of Thailand Plc (AoT).

Combined aircraft movements declined from 33,779 in April and 33,356 in May to 30,607 in June.

The figures underscore the perfect storm the global aviation industry is facing from surging oil prices, a slowing global economy, and overcapacity.

However, cumulative passenger totals through AoT airports in the first six months showed fairly good growth at 9.11% year-on-year to 30.35 million, with aircraft movements rising 3.78% to 204,349.

International passenger flows slowed from 2.89 million in May to 2.77 million in June. But the overall total for the first half was up a healthy 8.77% to 19.12 million.

Domestic passengers showed a dramatic slowdown, with growth of merely 1.79% in June (1.44 million), down from 9.71% in May (1.66 million).

But robust double-digit growth in February and March, when the impact of oil prices had yet to be felt, pushed up cumulative domestic numbers in the first half to 9.7% (11.23 million).

Total landings and takeoffs in the first six months increased only 3.78% to 204,349, with international flights rising 3.80% to 112,393 and domestic ones 3.76% to 91,956.

Suvarnabhumi showed a mixed monthly pattern in the first half but the overall January-June totals showed marginal growth in passengers but a contraction in aircraft movements.

Cumulative passenger numbers through the airport inched up 1.94% to 21.21 million, compared to 20.81 million in the same period last year. International passenger throughput increased 8.17% to 17.57 million, but the domestic total fell sharply by 20.25% to 3.64 million.

In the first half of this year, Suvarnabhumi handled 2.33% fewer flights thanin the same period last year with 130,488.

The numbers were sharply depressed by a 19.23% reduction in domestic movements with 30,418, while international numbers growing 4.30% to 100,070.

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