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AOT unshaken, sticks to 100m-passenger goal

AIRPORTS OF THAILAND, the operator of six international airports in the Kingdom, maintains its goal to welcome 100 million passengers in the 2016 fiscal year.

The goal is not changed, as the number of passengers at the six airports rose 4.2 per cent in the first eight months of the 2014 fiscal year to 60.34 million.

Between October 2013 and May this year, despite the unfavourable political situation in Thailand, AOT recorded 60.34 million aggregate passengers. While domestic numbers grew 14.28 per cent to 24.58 million, international tallies contracted 1.84 per cent to 35.75 million.

AOT president Makin Petplai expressed confidence that passenger traffic through the airports it operates would soon rebound following the improved travel sentiment among international travellers resulting from the change in Thailand's political landscape that ended the turmoil seen over the past seven months.

The full implementation of the Asean Economic Community (AEC) in 2016 will also give an extra push for passenger volumes through Thailand, which has already been one of the world's major tourism destinations, he added.

The listed agency on Tuesday celebrated its 35th anniversary.

"AOT has constantly been trying to be innovative, adopting and developing new things to beef up our organisation for sustainable growth, not only to serve the best interests of shareholders but those of the country as a whole," Makin said.

In a bid to maintain the Kingdom's position as a regional air hub in light of the regional integration under the AEC, AOT aims to serve 100 million passengers in the 2016 fiscal year. In the 2013 fiscal year, ending last September, the airports welcomed 88.29 million passengers.

Groundwork has been laid to strengthen all six airports - Suvarnabhumi, Don Mueang, Phuket, Chiang Mai, Chiang Rai and Hat Yai.

The outlook for passenger-traffic growth in the Asia-Pacific region is promising, expecting to rise by 6.5 per cent a year, exceeding the global average of 4.5-5 per cent, and Thailand will also benefit from such regional growth.


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