Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Suvarnabhumi Airport ready to receive relocated Don Mueang Airport flights: AoT

SAMUT PRAKAN, Jan 26 (TNA) - Suvarnabhumi Airport is ready to take back domestic flights from Don Mueang Airport, according to Airports of Thailand (AoT) acting president Serirat Prasutanont.

Mr. Serirat, who is also director of Suvarnabhumi airport, said that the flight relocations will begin March 29 as the national flag carrier, Thai Airways (THAI) has announced it will move all domestic flights now operating from Don Mueang Airport back to Suvarnabhumi Airport on that day.

Many airlines have agreed to move their services back to Suvarnabhumi, but some still oppose such a decision by the government, he said.

"The AoT will try to persuade and explain them the advantages of the relocation. Suvarnabhumi Airport is not as congested as they think. We can still support more flights," according to the acting AoT president.

In the future, Don Mueang Airport will serve only chartered flights and will become an aviation maintenance centre, Mr. Sererat said.

Mr. Serirat added that, during the Chinese New Year festival, all flights had fully resumed services at Suvarnabhumi and that the airport now welcomed about 100,000 passengers daily, a figure not much different from what it was before the airport seizure in late November, he said, serving 90,000-110,000 passengers daily.
The AoT chief said that an additional 165 flights from 21 local and international airlines have been operating during the Chinese holiday period (January 24-February 5), with about a 7,000 passenger-increase daily.

Mr. Serirat, however, admitted that the global economic slowdown has severely affected the chartered flight business, with the number of flights landing during Chinese New Year festival dropping by 50 per cent.

He hoped that the situation would gradually recover in the near future. (TNA)

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