All low-cost carriers operating in Thailand will be based at Don Mueang Airport from today in an attempt to ease the traffic burden at Suvarnabhumi International Airport.
Operations at the former airport ceased in 2006 following the opening of the new Suvarnabhumi Airport and the single airport policy.
Passengers were seen beginning to queue for check-in at AirAsia airline counters at 4am for the first flight to Bali, Indonesia at 6.15am. Thai AirAsia, the biggest low-cost airline in Thailand, moved its equipment to Don Mueang overnight Sunday, starting at midnight, after its last flight took off from Suvarnabhumi Airport. The relocation of empty aircraft from Suvarnabhumi to Don Mueang was completed at 3am.
The president of Aeronautical Radio Thailand (AEROTHAI) Squadron Leader Prajak Sajjasophon says his agency is ready for the switch-over, which will almost double the number of commercial flights operating at Don Muang airport from 250 per day to as many as 400.
Airports of Thailand (AoT) president Anirut Thanomkulabutra said earlier that facilities at Don Mueang Airport including duty free shops and restaurants are also fully operational today.
In addition to Thai AirAsia, Don Mueang Airport serves Nok Air, Orient Thai and chartered flights, he said, adding that Don Mueang will become another connecting hub for the region. Don Mueang will handle at least 12 million passengers per year.
On March 16, the government ordered all low-cost, charter and non-connecting flights to relocate to Don Mueang Airport to ease congestion at Suvarnabhumi Airport, ending the single-airport policy.