30th Oct 2019
The Airports of Thailand’s (AoT) has been urged to halve parking and landing fees at all of its operated airports in a bid to attract more foreign travellers in the upcoming Christmas season.
Transport Minister Saksayam Chidchob said on Monday, October 28, that the proposed 50% discount on all flights should help boost tourism particularly in smaller cities.
“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," he said.
In particular, Chidchob said the sale should attract seasonal flights from Eastern Europe and China which are the country’s sources of higher tourist arrivals.
Landing fees at present cost from 10,000 to 60,000 baht depending on the fleet size while charges for parking start from 880 baht for every 24 hours.
“We could get more charter flights in if our airports can free up more space,” Chidchob said.
Bangkok’s two international airports - Suvarnabhumi and Don Muang - are capable of handling 180 charter flights at present. The two gateways, along with Chiang Mai, Phuket, and Hat Yai airports - are already servicing 40 percent more than their designed capacity.
The Transport Ministry is also urging other airlines to transfer flights to other airports in Thailand to take advantage of the lower fees.
It also asked AoT to levy higher penalties for abrupt cancellations of parking and landing slots.
"The current slot cancellation rate is about 20 percent, which is higher than the standard," he said.
Under the new policy, AoT shall seize half of the paid deposit to help offset losses caused by sudden cancellations.
Meanwhile, Chidchob debunked reports that the Chiang Mai and Hat Yai airports are facing a potential closure after being underused.