Monday, January 18, 2021

AOT expects flights, passengers to return to 2019 levels only in 2022

Jun 18. 2020
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By THE NATION

Airports of Thailand (AOT) expects flights to recover to 2019 levels only in 2022, the company told the Stock Exchange of Thailand (SET) on Wednesday (June 17).

The report covered AOT's estimation of air traffic from 2020 to 2023.

AOT said that the exponential spread of the Covid-19 pandemic in different countries had adversely affected air travel and significantly reduced the number of flights and passengers at the six airports run by AOT.

The six international airports are: Suvarnabhumi, Don Mueang, Chiang Mai, Hat Yai, Phuket and Mae Fah Luang-Chiang Rai.

The AOT board of directors met on Wednesday (June 17) and discussed the analysis of the impact of the current situation as well as air traffic forecasts for fiscal years 2020-23.

In fiscal 2020, AOT expects 491,900 flights and 69.04 million passengers, down 45.1 per cent and 51.3 per cent respectively year on year.

Domestic air traffic volume will start to continuously recover in August 2020 until it returns to normal (to 2019 levels) in October 2022, the analysis said.

In fiscal 2022, AOT-run airports will see 761,800 flights and 108.87 million passengers, down 15 per cent and 23.3 per cent respectively compared to 2019.

In fiscal 2023, a total number of 902,200 flights are expected and 144.20 million passengers, up 0.7 per cent and 1.6 per cent respectively year on year.

Such forecasts are based on the assumption that a second wave of Covid-19 infections does not hit different countries targeted for making bilateral "travel bubble" agreements with Thailand. The government must implement state quarantine measures for inbound travellers from countries listed as Thailand’s major international routes, thereby resulting in a gradual increase in the number of international passengers, the amalysis said.

A Covid-19 vaccine is expected to be developed and distributed in July 2021, controlling the global outbreak. The national economy can then recover in January 2022 while the traffic volume will return to the 2019 air traffic volume in October 2022, AOT said.

Regarding operating revenue forecasts following the impact from the huge decrease in flights and passenger numbers, AOT expects a 50.70 per cent decrease in revenue in fiscal 2020, compared to 2019 and a 42.21 per cent decrease in revenue in fiscal year 2021, compared to the revenue in fiscal 2020.

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