Thailand cutting airport fees to attract more charters

Chartering a flight to Thailand is about to become more attractive price-wise as the Ministry of Transport ordered the company managing the Kingdom’s airports to halve its landing and parking fees to draw more charter flights during the high tourism season.

Minister of Transport Saksayam Chidchob said that he hopes the policy will increase visitors to secondary smaller cities, as well as to the Kingdom as a whole because it applies to every airport in the country. Ample space for charters is available at most airports, except at the five busiest: Suvarnabhumi, Don Muang, Chiang Mai, Phuket, and Hat Yai. Those have already exceeded their passenger-handling capacities by an average of 40 percent.

“The ‘sale’ should help boost tourism, especially in smaller cities, because this 50 percent discount will apply to all charter flights arriving and departing from all AoT (Airports of Thailand) airports across the country,” Saksayam said.

Aircraft landing fees range from $330 to $1,982 depending on the size of the aircraft. Parking fees start from $29 for 24 hours.

The Minister said that charter flights from Eastern Europe and China have been on the rise and that he believes the potential exists for an even larger number from those markets. One problem, however, is the availability of space at Suvarnabhumi and Don Muang in Bangkok.

Suvarnabhumi can handle 100 charger flights a day, while Don Muang can take 80. But the cancellation rate by charters is averaging about 20 percent, which is higher than the airport industry average, he said.

To address that and free up more space, the minister told the AoT to confiscate half of the deposits of charters that cancel on short notice.

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