PHUKET: In an effort to attract more flights to the island, Airports of Thailand (AOT) has halved landing fees for all international charter flights arriving at Phuket until December 31.
The airport Director, Sq/Ldr Pornchai Eua-aree, told the Gazette that the airport had originally suggested halving fees on all services, but that the Cabinet had approved the reduction only for charter flights.
Landing fees at the airport depend on the size of the aircraft. The reduction lowers the cost for a Boeing 747 to a maximum of 25,000 baht per landing, he said.
About 40 charter flights are expected to land in Phuket during the three-month period, he noted. Most will be from Russia, South Korea and Scandinavian countries.
Meanwhile, the number of passenger arrivals was down about 40% for each month following the tsunami, with the situation improving slightly in September, when the figure was 35% lower than the same period in 2004.
In the first week of this month, however, the number of arrivals has been almost as high as in the same period last year.
Sq/Ldr Pornchai conceded that the landing fee reduction would not have a great effect on a carrier’s decision as to whether to fly to Phuket or not.
“Reducing the landing fees hasn’t resulted in any great changes, but it does boost the morale of the airlines to know that the AOT is trying to help them out,” he said.
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