Airports agency accepts political protests impact passengers usage numbers

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BANGKOK, Dec 15 – Airports of Thailand (AoT) president admitted the ongoing protests have affected the number of passengers using Thailand’s airports to enter the country.

AoT president Sitha Tiwari said the number of passengers using the country’s airports has dropped slightly, but by less than 10 per cent.

The protests also impacted the number of room reservations, which should now be 100 per cent fully booked but which is now down to only 60 per cent.

Mr Sita is confident that the reduction in passengers using the airports would not affect the AoT’s overall revenue, for despite a lower number of foreign travellers entering the country, Thais still travel in the country.

Whether political impacts would last to next year, he said AoT is confident they would not so much if the political impasse could be resolved by democratic principles.

Meanwhile, Airports of Thailand is going ahead with its airport expansion plan to support more passengers such as at Phuket and Suvarnabhumi airports.

Mr Sitha said the number of passengers using AoT’s six airports — Suvarnabhumi, Don Mueang, Chiang Mai, Mae Fah Luang-Chiang Rai, Phuket, and Hat Yai — reached 86 million during the past fiscal year, a 20-per cent increase year-on-year, generating AoT’s net profits of Bt16.3 billion, a rise of 151 per cent year-on-year.