AOT Expects 30% Passenger Growth in 2024 to Reach Pre-Covid Level

Mr. Kerati Kijmanawat, Director of Airports of Thailand Public Company Limited (SET: AOT), expected an increase in the number of passengers to 120-130 million in fiscal-year 2024 (Oct 2023 – Sep 2024). The number increased from 2023 of 100.06 million passengers, being close to the year 2019 before the COVID-19 pandemic. At present, the amount of domestic passengers is back to normal or approximately 95% of 2019. The amount of foreign passengers is back to around 70-75%.

In 2024, it is expected that foreign passengers will be more interested in travelling, but airlines may not be ready to operate as efficiently. Especially in China, airlines only recovered for 60% of 2019, fairly low compared to other countries. This is due to  the policy of China’s government, and the fact that China has been affected by the pandemic. Therefore, it is expected that China’s airline market is in need of time to recover. However, when Thailand’s government deployed a free visa measure, there were already airlines from China that requested the right to land in the country. Furthermore, Thailand has seen a higher number of arrivals from Europe and Russia travellers more than usual. This assured the company that the situation will be back to normal in 2024.

The airlines that can add more flights, apart from the number of scheduled flights, will be given the discount for take-off and landing service fee of THB175 per one added person. However, the discount must not exceed 75% of take-off and landing service fee, during the period of 1 November 2023 to 31 March 2024. Mr. Kerati added that the company will distribute the discount only for the flight slots that are expected to help increase the revenue for 15%.

Regarding assistance for concessionaires in the airport, including King Power Group, the Director of AOT confirmed that the company is not affected by the support measure because it still recognizes the revenue. However, the delayed payment and installments of 12 months may cause the cash flow to be recognized at a later date. This is  due to the fact that concessionaires in the airport were still affected by the pandemic, and this support measure will build an amount of funding for concessionaires themselves to renovate their shop when the airport comes back online.