President Nitinai Sirismatthakarn said that from Jan 30 to Feb 11 total air passengers at AoT’s six airports – Suvarnabhumi, Don Mueang, Phuket, Chiang Rai, Hat Yai and Chiang Mai – are expected to increase by 4%.
The number of flights is predicted to rise by 7.2% compared with the same period last year, with 800 charter flights and extra flights catering to some 119,000 passengers.
AoT forecasts Suvarnabhumi airport to be the most jam-packed, with 2.63 million passengers, or growth of 3.6% year-on-year, from 14,800 flights, a 9% increase. Some 40,000 passengers will travel via 300 charter and extra flights.
Don Mueang airport is expected to follow with total passengers of 1.61 million, up 4.3%, and some 5,500 of them will travel via 40 charter and extra flights arranged for the period.
Phuket airport will also be busy with 920,000 passengers travelling via 4,800 flights, increases of 4.1% and 0.3% respectively. Some 300 extra and charter flights will carry about 60,000 passengers to the island.
Roughly 500,000 passengers will fly to Chiang Mai on 3,300 flights, up 9.4% and 13.6%, and 120,000 will arrive at Hat Yai via 800 flights, up 7.4% and 13.4%.
Mr Nitinai said only Hat Yai airport is expected to report a decline in passenger numbers during the Chinese New Year. Some 150,000 passengers will travel via the airport, down 3.1%, on 1,000 flights, down 2.1% compared with the same period last year.
A report by Ctrip, a Chinese travel service, said Thailand will be the top destination for Chinese to visit during the holiday. Mr Nitinai said AoT will arrange welcoming events for passengers who visit its airports on Feb 5, or Chinese New Year.
The Tourism Authority of Thailand estimates that 1.03 million foreign tourists will visit Thailand during Feb 4-10 this year, up 8% from the same time last year. They will contribute about 24 billion baht tourism revenue, up 11.5%.
Of the number expected, some 330,000 tourists are Chinese travellers, generating about 10.2 billion income, up 4% and 12% respectively.
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