Thailand: Suvarnabhumi airport arrivals up since RT-PCR tests lifted

Suvarnabhumi airport has seen a sharp rise in the number of international arrivals since the requirement for pre-flight Covid-19 tests was lifted.

Thailand’s main gateway airport in Samut Prakan province reported an average 11,623 travellers from overseas destinations from Friday to Monday, a 66% rise from the average in March of 7,003 visitors a day.

Airport general manager Kittipong Kittikachorn attributed the rise to the government’s decision to scrap pre-travel RT-PCR tests for visitors coming under Test & Go, Sandbox and quarantine schemes from last Friday, April 1.

Mr Kittipong expected the numbers would continue to increase as the eased travel restrictions lead to more flights landing at Suvarnabhumi.

The airport serviced 141 inbound flights a day on average this month, compared with 137 landings last month.

Shares in Airports of Thailand Plc, which operates Suvarnabhumi and five other international airports, were up one baht, or 1.5%, from 66.50 on Friday to 67.50 on Tuesday.

The government’s decision to end pre-travel tests is aimed at attracting more holidaymakers to Thailand to help the Covid-devastated tourism sector recover.

The Bank of Thailand’s latest tourism outlook, on March 30, remained unchanged. The central bank’s Monetary Policy Committee kept its projection of foreign visitors at 5.6 million this year on the expected improvement in the Omicron variant situation in the country and the limited impact of the Russia-Ukraine war on the Thai tourism sector.