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Phuket airport's future looks strong on today's numbers

Airport Aims at Eight Million Visits in 2011

Monday, April 18, 2011
THE NUMBER of tourists that Phuket is capable of handling now appears to depend solely on Phuket International Airport continuing to exceed its previous maximum capacity levels.

Phuketwan estimates that on the present trajectory, 2011 could see arrivals and departures jump by another one million over the record seven million in 2010 to eight million.

International comings and goings in the six months between October and March compared to 2009-2010 rose by 30.68 percent to 4,417,551 million.

Given that tourism slumped during April and May last year because of the political unrest in Bangkok and over-the-top travel alerts, we're prepared to predict the eight million figure for Phuket is possible - provided the airport can continue to cope and there are no more political upheavals.

The figures for March encourage the belief that another record year is on the way. International passenger arrival and departures increased by 27.23 percent over last year to 412,648.

Even with domestic travel stagnant, the overall increase of 13.01 percent to 784,140 remains healthy.

Flights for March again approached the 5000 figure, numbering 4982.

For the first three months of 2011, passenger comings and going have totalled 2,483,814. While numbers will fall away for low season, an eight million tally is definitely in prospect.

There was a time when the capacity of Phuket International Airport was said to be 6.5 million comings and goings, but the seven million in 2010 proved that possible to exceed.

What's possible to achieve with Phuket airport in its current configuration and what can be achieved in the years when the airport capacity is being extended makes the end-of-the-month briefing by Airports of Thailand on their plans for Phuket an eagerly awaited event.

The prospect of eight million comings and goings - or approximately four million tourists on Phuket this year - will not slow the Greater Phuket resort building boom.

But it does make the Phuket pizza pie almost big enough for everyone.


Comments have been disabled for this article.


I hope that AOT will do something with Terminal 2 (low cost terminal), my wife and I fly to Phuket 4 times a year and last January we caught the 9.45 Jetstar flight to Singapore, when we arrived at the terminal to check in it was an absolute disgrace, rubbish strewn about, over flowing bins and the toilets were filthy. After checking in and going to departure gate the toilets up there were a disgrace as well. Some more comfortable chairs in the departure lounges would not gone astray either. Have a look at Changi airport and see the the standard that is required by travellers nowadays. We love Phuket and have many freinds there, see you in late May.

Posted by Scott Shallcross on April 21, 2011 01:01

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