“The ‘sale’ should help boost tourism, especially in smaller cities, because this 50% discount will apply to all charter flights arriving and departing from all AoT airports across the country,” said Transport Minister Saksayam Chidchob on Monday (Oct 28).
At present, aircraft landing fees vary from B10,000-60,000 depending on the size of the aircraft, while parking fees start from B880 per 24-hour block.
Mr Saksayam said the policy is aimed to attract more seasonal flights from Eastern Europe and China, sources of increasing arrivals.
“We could get more charter flights in if our airports can free up more space,” said Mr Saksayam.
At present, the airports of Suvarnabhumi (100) and Don Mueang (80) can handle 180 charter flights a day. The minister said the policy will also encourage airlines to re-route their flights to other airports to take advantage of the lower fees. He said that the main international gateways – Suvarnabhumi, Don Mueang, Chiang Mai, Phuket and Hat Yai – have already exceeded their passenger handling capacity by about 40%.
As such, the minister also asked AoT to slap higher fines for abrupt cancellations of landing and parking slots at AoT-managed airports.
“The current slot cancellation rate is about 20%, which is higher than the standard,” he said.
Under the new policy, AoT will confiscate half of the deposit paid by airlines to reserve a landing slot, which will help offset the losses caused by sudden cancellations.
Mr Saksayam also dismissed reports that Mae Fah Luang airport in Chiang Rai and Hat Yai airport in Songkhla will be closed due to heavy losses.
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