Thailand Planning Major Airports’ Expansion
Thailand’s tourism bounty comes with a big challenge for the head of state-run Airports of Thailand Public Company Limited: expanding passenger capacity in Bangkok by about the size of South Korea’s population.
“The company is planning to host 90 million passengers annually at the city’s main Suvarnabhumi Airport by 2022 and 40 million at Bangkok’s low-cost hub Don Mueang International Airport, up from the present combined capacity of 75 million,” president of the company, Nitinai Sirismatthakarn, said.
The firm operates four other airports, including in tourism hotspot Phuket, Skift reported.
“We’re about to invest in 10 years about $6 billion for our six airports,” Nitinai said in a June 22 interview in Bangkok.
“The plan for Suvarnabhumi includes adding a concourse to the existing terminal complex by 2020, a third runway the following year and a new international terminal in 2022.”
Amnart Ngosawang, an analyst at KTB Securities (Thailand) Co. in Bangkok, said the company stands to benefit from Thailand’s position as one of the world’s top travel destinations, but it will take some time before the expanded infrastructure is in place to fully tap these opportunities.
“The current share price offers very limited upside for investors. The fundamentals are strong, but valuation is quite expensive now,” Amnart said.
“The goal of 90 million passengers at Suvarnabhumi in five years would double its current capacity,” Nitinai said.
Changi Airport in Singapore has capacity for about 60 million annually, while Beijing Capital International Airport can accommodate over 90 million. Both the city-state and China’s capital are also expanding their airports.