The Nation

Chumphon airport set to reopen

Chumphon province is set to reopen its airport after nine years, to provide air-cargo services to transport agricultural and seafood products to China and promote tourism.

Governor Manit Wattanasen said his province was coordinating the reopening with Platinum Airways, which would begin commercial flights between Chumphon and Bangkok this year.

He said Platinum would conduct only air-cargo services initially, flying agricultural and seafood products from Chumphon to China. The airline will then begin commercial services between Chumphon and Bangkok in October, offering four flights a week on a 32-seat aeroplane.

The governor said the reopening of Chumphon Airport would boost tourism and business in the province.

"Commercial flights proved unsuccessful in the past because Chumphon used to be rather limited in terms of business, investment and industry, but today business in the province has grown very much," the governor said.Chumphon Airport began commercial services in 1998 but was shut down the following year.

Manit said many tourists and agencies wanted commercial flights, including TUI Nordic, which operates group tours from Norway, Sweden, Denmark and Finland.

TUI Nordic said it planned to charter one flight a week to Chumphon Airport each year from January to April. The charter flights will accommodate up to 150 passengers.

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