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Chiang Mai Airport welcoming up to 20,000 passengers a day as flights increase

Pre-Covid tourism in Chiang Mai. Flickr/Karl Grenet

The deputy director of Chiang Mai Airport says the facility is now welcoming between 18,000 and 20,000 passengers a day, thanks to an increase in flights. Nattawut Ta-inta says the northern province is once more proving a top destination with both domestic and international tourists, and daily arrivals have exceeded 20,000 for the first time this month. Of those, around 2,000 are international arrivals.

Meanwhile, in Phuket, the passenger arrivals, in the INTERNATIONAL terminal only, are fluctuating at between 8,500 11,500 arrivals each day. Russian arrivals are more than half the second largest nationality, Indians, arriving in Phuket each day.

Phuket passenger arrivals

Phuket passenger arrivals – Phuket Immigration

Back up north, there are currently around 130 domestic and 20 international flights landing in Chiang Mai every day. 11 international airlines have resumed operations, returning to a pre-Covid schedule. The airport is now served by flights from Incheon and Busan in South Korea; Hanoi, Danang and Ho Chi Minh City in Vietnam; Singapore; Luang Prabang in Cambodia; the Taiwanese capital Taipei; Hong Kong; Yangon in Myanmar; and Kuala Lumpur in Malaysia – quite a different mix of arrivals compared to the southern island.

According to Nattawut, the airport welcomed around 35,000 passengers a day in pre-pandemic times. Of those, around 30% were international arrivals. Prior to Covid-19, the airport handled 145 domestic flights a day and around 90 international services, of which 14 came from China.

“Chiang Mai Airport has the slots ready for all airlines to reinstate their flights. They just need to notify the airport and the Civil Aviation Authority of Thailand. Recently, Myanmar Airlines began flying twice a week from Yangon and will increase its flights gradually.”

Nattawut is optimistic that more airlines will start flying to the northern city from early next year. He’s also hopeful the Chinese border may re-open in March and that Chiang Mai may once again welcome Chinese travellers.

SOURCE: Nation Thailand

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