THE THAI government has given the green light to Airports of Thailand (AOT) to transform Bangkok’s Don Mueang Airport into a domestic LCC hub, in order to ease growing congestion at Suvarnabhumi Airport, the country's main international gateway.
Under the arrangement, Suvarnabhumi, which is expected to process 52 millon passengers this year – beyond its annual passenger capacity of 45 million, will cater mainly to full-service carriers operating regional and international routes, while Don Mueang will cater to the domestic low-cost sector.
According to a report by the Bangkok Post, Thai Transport Minister Jarupong Ruangsuwan said Don Mueang would be informally opened for flights by relocated airlines in August, and commence full-scale operations by October.
AOT recently rolled out incentives on airport fees to entice LCCs to shift to Don Mueang. Thai AirAsia, the country’s largest LCC, is the main target for relocation, as its move would be a catalyst for other carriers to follow suit (TTG Asia e-Daily, May 30, 2012).