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Suvarnabhumi Airport : Flight Status

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Superjumbo makes 1st commercial flight to Bangkok

Emirates, the world's top buyer of the Airbus A380 superjumbo, is expanding its service into Asia with the aircraft's first commercial flight to Bangkok on Monday, an airport official said.

An A380 jet, the world's largest passenger airliner, was to set down at Bangkok's Suvarnabhumi International Airport with nearly 500 passengers from Dubai.

The longest luggage conveyer built will be used, along with four boarding gates, 13 check-in counters and an extra-large departure area to handle the flight, said Serirat Prasutanont, the airport's director.

Serirat said that beginning Monday, the Dubai-based carrier will operate daily A380 flights between Dubai and the Thai capital.

Emirates has ordered 58 of the aircraft, the most booked by any airline.

The airliner made its commercial debut in Asia in October 2007 with a Singapore Airlines flight between Singapore and Sydney.

An Airbus A380 made a technical trial flight from Toulouse, France, to Bangkok in December 2006.

Suvarnabhumi, which opened in September 2006, has five gates capable of receiving A380s.

Special tour packages offered to transfer passengers at Suvarnabhumi Airport

BANGKOK, June 1 (TNA) – Thailand’s tourism related agencies on Monday launched 15 special tour packages in the Thai capital and its environs to attract transfer passengers making stopovers of 12 hours or less at Bangkok’s Suvarnabhumi Airport, in an attempt to boost the country’s tourism industry.

The campaign which targets transit passenger has been jointly launched by the Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT), the Airports of Thailand (AoT), the Immigration Bureau, Thai Airways International (THAI), and the Association of Thai Travel Agents (ATTA).

TAT chairman Veerasak Kowsurat said that the campaign is aimed at boosting the country’s economy and increasing local incomes.

"Transit passengers who must wait at Suvarnabhumi Airport between six and twelve hours can take a brief tour of Bangkok and its surrounding provinces. We hope that the quick first impression will encourage them to come back here for a longer stay," Mr. Veerasak said.

The TAT chairman said that the activities include Bangkok city tours focusing on cultural and historical sites such as a boat ride and a Grand Palace tour, as well as the shopping activities in downtown Bangkok.

Tourists can also opt to visit nearby Samutprakarn province to see a crocodile farm, the Ancient City (Muang Boran), and the Erawan Museum, or spend their time on golf courses or Thai traditional massages and spas, according to Mr. Veerasak.

Mr. Veerasak said that 500-baht airport fees will be exempted for transfer passengers who join selected tours, upon checking in again for their onward flights, adding that all immigration formalities will be facilitated.

The TAT chairman added that the campaign will last for two years, expecting to bring in nearly Bt200 million income.

He said an increase of the income depends on the varieties of tour packages and the inauguration of the so-call airport link, a rail service linking Suvarnabhumi Airport to downtown Bangkok, scheduled to begin operation in August. (TNA)

Friday, February 13, 2009

Airport link to open Aug 12

The Airport Link from the Phaya Thai and Makkasan to Suvarnabhumi airport is set to open for passengers on Aug 12, deputy Transport Minister Sopon Zarum said on Friday.

He conceded some facilities, including the baggage carousel system, would not be ready on the opening day, but he said he needed to speed up its launch.

The luggage-loading service at Makkasan station would not be operational, so there might be some inconvenience for passengers with heavy bags.

The construction of the 28-km route is 96%-complete with delays to work at some stations and route sections due to hold-ups in land acquisitions, said SRT deputy governor Prasert Attanan.

The SRT plans to collect a fare of 150 baht from passengers taking non-stop trains while those travelling on trains that stop at every station will pay between 15 and 45 baht.

Airport Link 'แอร์พอร์ต ลิงค์' คืบหน้าแล้ว98%

ผู้ สื่อข่าวรายงานว่า วันนี้ (13 ก.พ.) นายโสภณ ซารัมย์ รมว.คมนาคม เป็นประธานเปิดการทดสอบเดินรถไฟฟ้าเชื่อมสนามบินสุวรรณภูมิ (แอร์พอร์ต เรล ลิงค์) วันแรก โดยมีการทดสอบการเดินรถจากสถานีรามคำแหงถึงสถานีท่าอากาศยานสุวรรณภูมิ

นายโสภณ กล่าวว่า โครงการนี้มีความคืบหน้าแล้วกว่าร้อยละ 98 ทั้งในส่วนของโครงสร้างพื้นฐาน และระบบการเดินรถ ซึ่งจากการทดสอบเดินรถ พบว่า ระบบการเดินรถมีความพร้อมที่จะเปิดให้บริการทันตามแผนในวันที่ 12 ส.ค.นี้ อย่างไรก็ตาม หากถึงกำหนดเวลาดังกล่าวแล้ว ระบบการเช็กอินกระเป๋าสัมภาระผู้โดยสารซิตี้เช็กอิน เทอร์มินอล ที่สถานีมักกะสันยังไม่แล้วเสร็จ ก็มีนโยบายให้การรถไฟแห่งประเทศไทย (รฟท.) เปิดให้บริการเดินรถสำหรับผู้โดยสารไปก่อน จนกว่าระบบเช็กอินกระเป๋าจะเสร็จสมบูรณ์ จึงจะเปิดให้บริการในส่วนดังกล่าวตามมาทีหลัง พร้อมทั้งเร่งรัดให้ รฟท. จัดตั้งบริษัทลูกขึ้นมาบริหารการเดินรถไฟฟ้าแอร์พอร์ตเรลลิงค์ให้พร้อมต่อ การเปิดให้บริการตามกำหนดการดังกล่าว

ด้าน นายยุทธนา ทัพเจริญ ผู้ว่าการ รฟท. กล่าวถึงการกำหนดราคาค่าโดยสาร ว่า จากผลการศึกษาที่ รฟท. ได้ว่าจ้างศึกษาไว้ ในส่วนของขบวนรถด่วน (express way) จะจัดเก็บราคา 150 บาทต่อคน ส่วนขบวนรถ City line ที่จะจอดรับผู้โดยสารตามสถานี 6 แห่ง จะเริ่มเก็บค่าโดยสารจาก 30-50 บาท อย่างไรก็ตาม ผลการศึกษาดังกล่าวจะมีการเสนอให้กระทรวงคมนาคมพิจารณาอีกครั้ง.

Friday, February 6, 2009

Cathay Pacific adds Thai flights

Despite relatively low passenger traffic because of the global economic downturn and Bangkok's airport crisis, Cathay Pacific and sister carrier Dragon Air are not cutting back on flights through Thailand.

Aaron Chan, Cathay Pacific manager for Thailand, says the group is committed to Thailand.

Instead, they decided to raise their capacities through the kingdom in the summer travel season that starts at the end of next month on optimistic anticipation of a traffic rebound. Summer is usually a low travel period.

The decision came even though their service through Bangkok is the worst performer in the Hong Kong-based Cathay Pacific group's worldwide load factor that can reach highs of 80%.

Except for long holidays like Christmas and New Year and the Lunar New Year when seats are normally full, Cathay Pacific managed to fill only 50-60% of seats available through Bangkok.

Likewise, freight tonnage moved by Cathay Pacific through Bangkok plummeted by 30-40% against its load capacities as shipment requirements declined sharply.

Both passenger volume and cargo movements in the aftermath of the seizure of Bangkok's Suvarnabhumi airport have been lower than the same period last year.

But Aaron Chan, Cathay Pacific manager for Thailand, said the group is increasing its services to reflect its commitment to Thailand, its largest station outside Hong Kong.

The group operates numerous flights to five countries through Bangkok.

Starting at the end of next month, its sister carrier Dragon Air will increase the Hong Kong-Phuket route to nine flights a week from seven.

Cathay Pacific will also add a weekly flight on the Bangkok-Delhi route, increasing its frequency to seven flights a week, but decided to reduce the frequency on Bangkok-Mumbai to three flights a week from four.

The airline's trunk route of Bangkok-Hong Kong that it has operated for 62 years will remain unchanged at five flights per day.

Cathay Pacific operates a mixed fleet of wide-body aircraft on its service through Thailand with an average of 350 seats, including the Boeing 747, 777, Airbus A330 and A340 jetliners.

The airline faces an uphill task to fill seats to Thailand as many of its inbound passengers, who constitute the bulk of passengers carried through the Thai capital, continue to perceive Thailand as a risky place and a country to avoid, because of the airport seizure.

"People still travel, but they don't choose [to travel to] Thailand, and Hong Kong people instead go to places like Japan and South Korea," he said.

Though Suvarnabhumi airport was reopened after 10 days of closure on Dec 5, the fear of being stranded at Bangkok airports by political movements continues to haunt them, albeit with less intensity.

"If you look at the load factor (so far), it does not look like it changed a lot and the deteriorating economic crisis has made it worse," he said.

David Leung, regional director for the Hong Kong Tourism Board, agreed, saying in a separate interview that the airport closure and unsettled political issues in Thailand will prove to be a major impediment to reviving traffic there.

The tagline of the Tourism Authority of Thailand's current campaign in promoting the kingdom as a value-for-money destination is only a small part of bringing back tourists, according to Mr Chan.

The bottom line is for the country to be more active in rebuilding its battered international image and reviving confidence.

Strike at Suvarnabhumi ends

About 300 workers of Asia Security Management Co Ltd, a subsidiary of Loxley Group that provides aviation security service at the Suvarnabhumi Airport, gathered Thursday morning in front of the Passenger Terminal, demanding for higher bonus and welfare payments.

The workers, responsible for baggage X-ray and security inside the terminal, said earlier the company announced that those working during Dec 15-Jan 15 were entitled to additional Bt3,000 compensation. However, the company cut the compensations, they claimed.

The workers agreed to disperse after the company's management as well as officials from Airports of Thailand arrived and agreed to take their demand into consideration.

เกี่ยวกับคนงาน 300 ของบริษัท Asia Security Management จำกัด ซึ่งเป็นบริษัทย่อยของ Loxley กลุ่มที่ให้บริการการรักษาความปลอดภัยการบินที่สนามบินสุวรรณภูมิ, ชุมนุมเมื่อวันพฤหัสบดีที่ด้านหน้าของผู้โดยสาร, เพื่อต้องการเงินโบนัสและสวัสดิการ.

บริษัทประกาศว่าผู้ที่ทำงานในระหว่าง 15 ธ.ค. - 15 ม.ค.
มีสิทธิที่จะเพิ่มเติม 3,000 บาทชดเชย. อย่างไรก็ตามบริษัทตัดค่าตอบแทนที่พวกเขาตกลงเอาไว้

แรงงานได้เลิกการชุมนุมหลังจาก ฝ่ายจัดการขจากท่าอากาศยานแห่งประเทศไทยมาตกลงที่จะพิจารณาความต้องการของพวกเขา.


เมื่อเวลา 08.00 น. วันนี้(5ก.พ.) ผู้สื่อข่าวรายงานว่า พนักงานของบริษัทล็อกซ์เล่ย์ ในส่วนงานเอ็กซเรย์กระเป๋าผู้โดยสารทั้งขาเข้า-ขาออก ของท่าอากาศยานนานาชาติสุวรรณภูมิ กว่า 100 คน หยุดการทำงาน และรวมตัวกันชุมนุมประท้วงขอโบนัสที่บริเวณหน้าประตูทางเข้าที่ 8 ชั้น 1 ส่งผลให้ไม่มีพนักงานดูแลการเอ็กซเรย์กระเป๋าผู้โดยสาร

โดยเงินโบนัสที่พนักงานเรียกร้อง ทางบริษัทเคยประกาศว่าถ้าพนักงานคนใดมาทำงานระหว่างวันที่ 15 ธ.ค. 51- 15 ม.ค. 52 โดยไม่เข้างานสาย ไม่ลา ไม่ขาด จะมีเงินพิเศษให้เพิ่มจากปี่ที่แล้ว แต่บริษัทกลับนำวันลา และมาสายของพนักงานปี 51 มาตัดเงินที่พนักงานจะได้รับ

กระทั่งเวลา 09.20 น. พนักงานประจำจุดตรวจกระเป๋าภายในสนามบินก็เดินทางออกมาร่วมชุมนุม ส่งผลให้เจ้าของบริษัทฯ และตัวแทนจากการท่าอากาศยานแห่งประเทศไทย ต้องออกมาเจรจากับพนักงานในเวลา 10.00 น. ที่ผ่านมา โดยยังไม่ได้ข้อยุติ.

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Committee to probe THAI formed

The Ministry of Transport has set up a committee to probe Thai Airways International (THAI)'s serious liquidity problem, Finance Minister Korn Chatikavanij said on Monday.

Mr Korn said the committee will determine how much the closure of Suvarnabhumi and Don Mueang airports last year, fuel hedging and overall management affected the company's financial crisis. He said the purpose is not to investigate but to find the actual cause of the problem, so it can be solved quickly.

The minister said he had discussed the company's business recovery and internal management plan with Transport Minister Sopon Zarum, and the airways is likely to submit the plan to the Finance Ministry for approval within February. If approved, the ministry will seek funds to boost the company, he added.

"THAI is receiving lower number of passengers mainly due to the global economic crisis, and the company must be prepared and quickly improve its management," said Mr Korn.

He said his ministry will suggest the cabinet on Tuesday to borrow another 200 billion baht to develop and enhance state enterprises hit by the economic downturn.

Korn sets THAI agenda

The Transport Ministry has launched its own investigation into the embattled Thai Airways International and how to rescue it.

Finance Minister Korn Chatikavanij, whose ministry is the major shareholder in THAI, told Transport Minister Sopon Zarum yesterday he wanted to know the airline's exact problems.

The investigation will look into the closure of Suvarnabhumi airport, fuel hedging and quality of management.

Mr Korn said THAI's management needed to improve as travellers were dropping off because of the global economic downturn.

He expected the airline's board to submit a new business plan within a month

Mr Korn also pointed to the problem of too much political interference in THAI in recent years.

"While we are THAI's major shareholder, we have a smaller management role than the supervisory ministry," he said. "This should change, but it can't be done overnight."

Long-term plans should include competing with other airlines, but care must be taken to stop government interference in the national carrier's management.

"The key question is for THAI to propose a comprehensive business plan that compares with other airlines. It needs good management, corporate governance and professionalism. It also has the right to tell politicians not to meddle with it," Mr Korn said.

The State Enterprise Policy Office and the Committee on Rehabilitation and Development of Air Transportation has accepted in principle THAI's preliminary business rehabilitation plan, the airline's acting president ACM Narongsak Sanapong said.

The complete plan will be proposed to the Transport and Finance ministries this month.

There are three stages. The first focuses on increasing cash flow, improving asset management and improving liquidity. The second covers boosting revenue, improving operational efficiency and cost management and enhancing product and service quality. The third is a long-term plan to review business transformation, organisational structure and culture.

THAI's Suvarnabhumi move 'will ease congestion'

Relocating all Thai Airways International flights from Don Mueang to Suvarnabhumi airport will not worsen congestion at the main hub, but on the contrary improve traffic, according to the air traffic control authority.

Somchai Thean-Anant, president of Aeronautical Radio of Thailand Co (Aerothai), said yesterday that THAI's plan to operate all its domestic flights bound for Bangkok only at Suvarnabhumi airport instead of landing some flights at Don Mueang would facilitate flights visiting the capital.

He added that flights arriving at Don Mueang and Suvarnabhumi airports have route crossings, so they must circle to wait for one another.

The THAI plan to return to Suvarnabhumi airport from March 29 this year will therefore reduce route crossings and help save fuel because aircraft would not have to circle. The flight relocation would even ease traffic congestion at Suvarnabhumi, ACM Somchai said.

The Aerothai president yesterday received Transport Minister Sopon Zarum who was concerned about congestion at Suvarnabhumi airport.

The minister said Aerothai confirmed that the single-airport policy for Bangkok would cut the duration of a visiting flight by about 10 minutes. After the THAI flight relocation, Don Mueang airport would be used to promote aviation-related industries, he said.

Mr Sopon also urged Aerothai to bring down expenses and boost revenue.

ACM Somchai said the Aerothai board had already approved an operations improvement plan that should cut Aerothai's costs by up to 90 million baht, or about 10%, and increase income by about 150 million baht per month.

Aerothai will focus more on related businesses such as its services to test navigation aids in neighbouring countries.

He admitted that Bangkok's airport closures late last year and the global economic problems had led Aerothai's income to plunge by 160 million baht since last December.

In the past year, Aerothai brought in revenues of about five billion baht. ACM Somchai expects his organisation to maintain the figure this year with the improved operations plan.

Cabinet: Suvarnabhumi transit passengers need no visa

Cabinet on Tuesday approved a visa exemption scheme for transit passengers through Suvarnabhumi Airport who must wait long hours to catch a connecting flight, in an attempt to boost the country's tourism industry.

Deputy spokesman Puttipong Punnakan said the Cabinet initially approved the plan to increase income from international transit passengers, by allowing them to temporarily leave the airport premises on a short visit or to shop at places near the airport without a visa.

Mr. Puttipong said Thailand welcomed a thousand of transit passengers daily, many of whom must stay at the airport for up to eight hours.

If allowed to leave the airport for a short visit to tourist attractions or nearby shopping, more income could be generated among local residents and tour operators.

It is expected that the number of tourists in Bangkok, Chachoengsao, Samut Prakan and Chonburi will increase if the plan is implemented.

"Cabinet also assigned the Tourism Authority of Thailand, Airports of Thailand and the Association of Thai Travel Agents to create interesting tour packages for transit passengers," Mr. Puttipong said.

The visa exemption scheme is aimed at boosting Thailand's tourism industry and reversing a drop in the number of foreign tourists. The number of foreign tourists has dropped by 20 per cent from the same period of last year, due to the local political turmoil and global economic slowdown. (TNA)

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