On January 12th, 2024, Mr. Suriya Juangroongruangkit, the Thai Minister of Transport, publicly revealed after the CAAT OPEN HOUSE 2024 event that there is a strong tendency for a resurgence in the tourism industry, therefore, the Civil Aviation Authority of Thailand (CAAT) needs to increase the number of flights to meet the upcoming demand.
The plan to meet the demand for more flights includes Suvarnabhumi, Don Mueang, Chiang Mai, and Phuket airports which are popular destinations for foreign tourists. As for the initial evaluation, CAAT could schedule flight slots up to 30% to 40% higher compared to the previous year to meet the rising demand, said the Minister of Transport.
CAAT was ordered to manage flight schedules in rush hours and increase the number of flight slots as it would potentially cause positive impacts to an increasing number of passengers, remarked Suriya.
“However, the Ministry of Transport evaluated that the current aviation situation continues to recover and soon will be back to normal, similar to before COVID-19 in 2019. It was evident that the demand to book flights, not only for Thai airlines but also international airlines, has increased in significance. The airlines could not meet the rising demand at the moment, but within the next few years, the aviation industry would expand as there would be more airplanes available for service,” said Suriya.
Mr. Suttipong Kongpool, the chairman of CAAT, publicly revealed that the overall aviation situation of the number of passengers has recovered by 74% compared to 2019. The second half of 2024 is likely to bring more flight demand and will bring the overall passenger volume this year back to normal levels before Covid-19, said Suttipong.
However, the Chinese market currently faces economic problems, and the visa exemption policy allowing Chinese tourists a visa waiver may not stimulate tourism in Thailand as the Thai government initially hoped for. But, it was believed that Chinese people would start to travel more in the second half of this year, concluded Suttipong.