Thailand-China flight activity experiences boost since mutual visa exemption deal 8 months ago

0
1381
Deputy Transport Minister Surapong Piyachote highlighted a 213% increase in flights, with 55,433 recorded from October last year to May and the number is expected to reach 86,150 by the end of this fiscal year on September 30. (Photo – PM inaugurates first day of Thailand-China visa exemption Sept 25, 2023)

Flight activity between Thailand and China has experienced a boost since the establishment of a mutual visa exemption agreement eight months ago. Deputy Transport Minister Surapong Piyachote highlighted a 213% increase in flights, with 55,433 recorded from October last year to May. The number is expected to reach 86,150 by the end of this fiscal year on September 30.

Currently, flights from China operate at major Thai airports, including Don Mueang, Suvarnabhumi, Phuket, Chiang Mai, Samui, and Krabi. Notably, Chengdu Airport in Sichuan province has witnessed considerable traffic, with 5,896 flights recorded over the past eight months, projected to increase to 8,850 by the end of the year.


To manage this surge, the Aeronautical Radio of Thailand (Aerothai) is enhancing its capacity. The agency is advancing air traffic management through new strategies such as parallel routing and technology upgrades. These improvements are part of a plan to accommodate up to 2 million flights by 2038, incorporating extensive personnel training, route adjustments, and sophisticated airspace design.

Furthermore, Aerothai President Nopasit Chakpitak has outlined initiatives at U-tapao Airport and the Eastern Aviation City. The initial phase aims to transform U-tapao into a major hub for air cargo linked to the Eastern Economic Corridor (EEC), particularly focusing on flights from China and developing the airport as a future center for aircraft maintenance. (NNT)