Phuket Airport bosses are looking forward to a busy high season as more airlines resume operations and passenger numbers steadily rise. Airport director Monchai Tamod claims that “70% of flights are now back to a normal level of service”.
“From January to August this year, there were in total 9,167 domestic and international flights with 849,406 passengers or about 7,400 passengers each day. From October 1, there are about 10,000 passengers each day.”
Mr. Tamod’s numbers include the domestic and international terminal totals, including Thais, some returning from overseas. Only on October 1 and 8 were there around 5,900+ passengers on both days. International arrivals into Phuket are still, even at this latest surge of nearly 6,000 passengers on some days, around 20% of the pre-Covid levels.
The figures from below, from the Phuket Immigration website, show the arrivals in the past 3 months, with the country totals for the entire year on the right hand side.
With the Phuket airport marking its 37-year anniversary at the weekend, Mr. Tamod says the facility is now preparing to welcome at least 30,000 passengers a day.
“At the end of this month will be the beginning of the high season for Phuket and the Andaman provinces. We are expecting at least 30,000 passengers each day. Of those, 17,000 will be domestic passengers and 13,000 will be international passengers.”
As the Covid-19 threat gradually recedes, airport bosses are optimistic that those numbers will continue to grow, predicting a return to pre-pandemic levels by 2024, despite the increased flight costs, economic recession, high fuel costs and inflation.
“When we compare with the high season 3 years ago before Covid-19, now at least 70% of flights are back to normal services”, claims Mr. Tamod.
“Next year there will be more than 88,043 flights with more than 13 million passengers. In 2024, the number of passengers is expected to be 18 million which will be the same number as 2019.”
(In 2019 there were 115,000 aircraft movements, including both international and domestic flights)
SOURCE: The Phuket Express