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Phuket airport grows in passenger numbers to record levels

Airport Passengers Top Three Million

Thursday, April 11, 2013
PHUKET: Overseas tourists continue to flock to Phuket in record numbers, with Phuket International Airport tallying more than one million passengers in March for the third straight month.

Highlighting the increasingly cosmopolitan nature of Phuket, international arrivals and departures rose by 31.34 percent year on year to 588,653 last month.

Coupled with a lift of 11.5 percent in domestic passengers, Phuket airport totalled 1,034,889 passengers for March.

With January and February also topping one million arrivals and departures, Phuket airport has never been so busy.

January 2012 is the only other time that Phuket has topped a million in a month.

Officials have already revealed that Phuket could not handle any extra flights between April 1 and April 22, indicating that April - with the Songkran New Year Festival at its heart - could again score close to a million arrivals and departures.

Barring a thermo-nuclear war cloud drifting down from the north or a bird flu plague, Phuket seems likely to enjoy a record year for tourism numbers.

The year on year rise of 15.70 percent for the first quarter is based on Phuket's total of 3,146,466 arrivals and departures.

Add on the last quarter of 2012 and Phuket has had 5,716,409 comings and goings in the six months of the traditional high season.

It certainly seems as though the ''low'' season is gradually disappearing as brand Phuket continues to find new fans.

Reports of Phuket's success are often exaggerated. Phuket's single runway simply cannot handle more flights in high season.

The new international terminal and multi-storey car park now under construction will add comfort but not customers.

Fill out the months between April and December to about one million arrivals and departures a month and you have Phuket International Airport's maximum carrying capacity.

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