New Thai Prime Minister Set to Aid Thai Aviation Industry

Buses parked with Thai Airways aircraft on tarmac in Bangkok.
David McKelvey from Brisbane, Australia, CC BY 2.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Thailand’s new leader Prime Minister Srettha Thavisin scheduled a round table meeting on the 28th of August with Airports of Thailand Plc (AOTm) and the Thai Airline Association.

The Association represents the carriers Nok Air, Bangkok Airways, Thai VietJet, Thai Airways & Thai Smile, Thai Lion Air, Thai AirAsia and Thai AirAsia X. 

This meeting, held at at Phue Thai Party’s headquarters in downtown Bangkok, aimed to address the need for more air connectivity to certain Thai secondary cities and regional hot spots such as Chiang Mai or Phuket.

The Thai aviation industry issue of high airfares was also tabled at the meeting, as reported by news source The Nation.

Thai Aviation & Focus on Tourism


The new government also discussed the challenges in accommodating the high season, which attracts many tourists to the country. 

Much of the inbound tourism comes from China, Russia, India and followed by Europe. All airports managed by AOT suffer a lack of capacity and personnel for the upcoming high season. 

According to The Nation, the Thai Prime Minister acknowledged AOT’s previously presented solution for resolving their airport congestion. Major airlines presented at the meeting requested tax reductions on aviation fuel. 

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The AOT, along with other stakeholders, and the newly formed government will prepare the private sector for the Kingdom’s entry to the fourth and the busiest quarter ever. The busiest period for the Thai aviation sector will be during the Chinese National Day in early October. 

Airlines were reportedly advised during the meeting to provide the best service while keeping safety and security in mind. 

Kirati Kitmanawat, AOT’s Chief Executive Officer stated that the Prime Minister has noted the problems surrounding the shortage of flights and high airfares. The Prime Minister pledged to resolve these issues in November, just in time to accommodate beach-goers or tourists coming to the Kingdom. 

The airport group has advised Srettha Thavisin to fast-track management measures to ease congestion at Bangkok Airports Suvarnabhumi and Don Mueang Airports. 

New Airports Touted in Phuket 


Phuket Airport, arguably one of the country’s most important airports outside of Bangkok would be expanded to 20 million passengers per annum from 12 million per annum according to nationthailand.com. The expansion is set to be completed in 2025. 

The Thai government touted the airport to slate a new plan to build a new airport in Phang Nga province, which has the capability to handle 20 million passengers per annum. 

Arriving at Phuket Airport. Photo Credit: shapurma, CC BY 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

The government also promises to help relieve the capacity crunch at Phuket Airport with an investment of 80 billion baht. Major airlines at the meeting will also adjust their appropriate rates for aviation excise taxes. 

Moreover, these airlines are also championing industry-related processes and in turn competitiveness such as facilitating new routes to target, Russian and Chinese tourists. 

In addition, these airlines welcome the new government’s move to reduce visa fees for Chinese tourists or waive visa requirements. 

What can be derived from the meeting is that the new Thai government places a high interest in air travel, and is a crucial spark for the economic recovery scene in the Kingdom which is poor compared to its neighboring countries.  

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By Indy Udol 4 Min Read
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