Deputy Transport Minister Thaworn Senneam has told the Department of Airports (DoA) to find ways to make up for falling revenue at 29 provincial airports following a sharp decline in passenger numbers.
Hangars at the airports should be rented out and more revenue could be generated from the airports’ air cargo and ground services, Mr Senneam said after meeting with the DoA yesterday.
He said the aviation industry’s income dropped by 90% in April last year at the onset of the pandemic.
That was when most domestic and global air travel was banned and the borders shut to stem the spread of COVID-19.
After that the airports’ financial situation improved with revenue rebounding 50-60% before dipping again due to the resurgence of local infections late last year.
“Aviation revenue this year is forecast to fare better than last year as the COVID-19 vaccines are expected to arrive the middle of next month,” said Mr Senneam said.
Before the new wave of COVID-19 hit the country late last year, domestic air travel had been forecast to recover in 2022-2023 and international aviation in 2023-2024, according to the deputy minister
The department’s revenue in the previous fiscal year was 812.62 million baht, slumping by 41% or around 400 million baht compared with the previous year.
Mr Senneam said he also instructed the department, the Aeronautical Radio of Thailand, the Airports of Thailand and the Civil Aviation Authority of Thailand to work together to tackle aviation-related problems, especially those concerning safety.