Phuket flights hold off on using Suvarnabhumi

BANGKOK (The Nation): Despite caretaker Transport Minister Pongsak Ruktapongpisal’s announcement yesterday that the new Suvarnabhumi Airport will be ready to accept domestic flights starting September 15, all Bangkok-bound domestic flights out of Phuket International Airport will continue to use Don Muang Airport until the new airport officially opens on September 28.

Flights from major tourist cities, including Phuket and Chiang Mai, would continue to use Don Muang International Airport in order to ensure that foreign travelers encounter no problems when catching international flights home, K. Pongsak said.

Thai AirAsia and Bangkok Airways will not be among the airlines ready to use the airport from September 15.

“We definitely can’t move operations there on September 15,” a source at Bangkok Airways said. “We have a lot of work to do and we are dealing with a number of foreign travelers … taking connecting flights to many domestic destinations. If we have to do it at … two airports, that would be a big problem.

“We’ll move all our operations to Suvarnabhumi on September 28.”

Tassapon Bijleveld, Thai AirAsia’s chief executive officer, said the new deadline was not mandatory and applied to only those who would be ready.

“Thai AirAsia can’t move there on September 15 because we haven’t yet started … working on our office in Suvarnabhumi, and moving there also requires a lot of work,” he said.

Orient Thai, however, is reportedly ready to move earlier than the other airlines.

Phuket News
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