Severe flooding, along with foreign government warnings against travel to Thailand has begun to dent the airport’s passenger traffic through Singapore.
The number of passengers at Bangkok’s main airport began to decline during the last week of October, falling by 7% from year to year, and the fall is likely to become more pronounced as the flooding problems intensify, international travelers scaring further.
“The fall in passenger numbers began on October 25 after remaining stable in the last 24 days,” said Somchai Sawasdeepon, a senior executive vice-president of Airports of Thailand Plc (AOT).
Before the flood began to affect Bangkok, Suvarnabhumi was handling about 130,000 passengers on 800 flights per day.
Airline executives have also begun to see the fall of reservations and cancellations for travel to the country, where flooding is being perceived internationally and on the same scale as Hurricane Katrina struck New Orleans in 2005, fostering fear.
Several carriers have already reduced their frequencies through Bangkok, and more cuts are looming on the horizon.
Cathay Pacific has halved its reports, Bangkok, Hong Kong service to two daily flights, while the East Thai Airlines has suspended its daily flight on the same route covered by a Boeing 747 Jumbo.
The move comes as more tourists from Hong Kong to cancel your flight because of his government to raise the bar travel warning to Thailand to “red”.
“We are seeing a virtual standstill traffic from the north and East Asia – China, Japan, South Korea and Hong Kong,” said Udom Tantiprasongchai, the founder of Orient Thai Airlines, which is concentrated in the region, Bangkok Post.
The Thai Airways International Airlines (Thailand) is considering a similar measure, possibly reducing service on some routes such as Colombo and Hat Yai, said an airline official.
Suspension of the Bangkok-Athens route is also being considered, but that is mainly due to the economic crisis in Greece.
Mr. Somchai of AOT acknowledged it would be difficult to win back traffic.
“The message we’re trying to convey is that not all of Thailand has been flooded. Tourists can still use Suvarnabhumi to jump to their favorite destinations such as Phuket and Chiang Mai, which are free from flooding,” he said.
AOT is also trying to dispel the perception abroad that grave Suvarnabhumi is the next to be flooded after Don Mueang airport was closed for a week.
“We are confident that our flood protection will prevent end the Suvarnabhumi operation,” said Somchai.
He added that experts from Japan and Germany endorsed the declaration after the inspection of flood protection barriers few days ago.