AOT soar above last year’s levels

Thailand's recovery can be traced directly to more flights

As Thailand’s economy rebounds to close to pre-pandemic levels, the recovery can be traced directly to more flights. Airports of Thailand are set to soar above last year’s levels of both domestic and international arrivals, and the millions of tourists these flights bring.

The first two months of this year have seen 150,000 flights, double the number in the same period last year, according to Airports of Thailand (AOT) in the Nation. Of these flights, 67,000 originated overseas.

Thailand has also seen 23 million passengers arriving this year, more than three times the number for the same period last year.

AOT soar from 4-billion loss to profit

This is the best possible news for AOT who makes money from every passenger and flight, whether arriving or taking off. AOT mainly operates airports and hotels. It manages Suvarnabhumi Airport (BKK), Don Mueang Airport (DMK), Chiang Mai (CNX), Hat Yai (HDY), Phuket (HKT), and Mae Fah Luang – Chiang Rai (CEI).

Net profit for this year already stands at 30 million baht, just under a million US dollars, and however you look at it, that’s a lot better than more than 4 billion baht lost in Q1 last year.

AOT’s revenue from both aviation and non-aviation businesses came in at 6.5 billion baht, 279% more compared to the same period last year.


While AOT soar in terms of financials, and recently chose flag carrier Thai Airways to trial biometric check-ins at Suvarnabhumi Airport, starting on their Bangkok – Singapore route. Suvarnabhumi Airport recently gained PVS, or passenger validation systems, to scan boarding passes more efficiently, “to ensure that passenger screening process is fast and accurate, and prevent unauthorised persons from entering restricted or flight-controlled areas.”

Thai Airways itself caused a stir this week after a TikTok video exposed the cabin crew forgetting to collect meal trays from passengers prior to landing.

Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha responded to AOT’s announcement of profits by thanking all tourism-related organisations, agencies and businesses for their role in boosting the economy.

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Jon Whitman

Jon Whitman is a seasoned journalist and author who has been living and working in Asia for more than two decades. Born and raised in Glasgow, Scotland, Jon has been at the forefront of some of the most important stories coming out of China in the past decade. After a long and successful career in East sia, Jon is now semi-retired and living in the Outer Hebrides. He continues to write and is an avid traveller and photographer, documenting his experiences across the world.