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Suvarnabhumi Airport : Flight Status

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

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.

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