THAILAND. Concession revenues at Thailand’s major airports climbed by +8.3% year-on-year in the 12 months to 30 September, Airports of Thailand (AOT) reported today.

The concession revenue figure, which was aided by healthy passenger growth, hit Bt14,751 million (US$454 million), and contributed 61% of total non-aeronautical revenues of Bt24,075 million (US$740 million). Non-aeronautical income climbed by +10.5% and represented 44% of AOT revenue in the year.

The total number of passengers handled by AOT airports was 129.20 million, a +7.7% increase compared to FY 2016. This was made up of 72.54 million international passengers and 56.66 million domestic passengers.

Year of growth: The breakdown of non-aeronautical income by category at AOT airports in 2017 versus 2016

AOT commented: “The aviation industry in Thailand from October 2016 to September 2017 improved compared to the same period last year. This is in line with the world aviation industry and a result of continued growth in the tourism sector. Support from the Thai government makes Thailand an attractive destination to tourists. As a consequence, the number of tourists travelling to Thailand increased, especially Chinese tourists who contributed to the higher growth.

How non-aeronautical revenues broke down in 2016 and 2017

“After extreme decline around the end of 2016 from the repressive measures against illegal tours by the government, Chinese tourists [represent] the [majority of] travellers who visit Thailand. The domestic political situation is stable. The rapid expansion of low cost airlines brings air-fare competitiveness, and this results in an increase in demand for air travel among middle income travellers.”

The big picture: Full-year results for AOT outlined

AOT net profit jumped by +7% to Bt20,683 million (US$636 million) in the year, on overall revenues of Bt56,744 million (US$1.74 billion).

In its annual results announcement, AOT stressed the importance of “balancing” its aviation and non-aviation income in favour of commercial. This echoed the message delivered by AOT Senior Executive Vice President (Corporate Strategy) Sasisubha Sukontasap at the recent Trinity Forum in Bangkok, co-hosted by the airport company with King Power International Company.

Khun Sasisubha said: “We fully understand that we need to study the big picture and the factors that drive commercial revenues forward, and that we need new channels to promote this business. AOT intends to make use of Big Data to analyse business trends and the types of service we need. We see it as a way forward to develop commercial products and services to fulfil the needs of consumers.

“AOT is confident that our commercial development will improve the service quality of our airports. But that can only happen through good relationships with business partners and concessionaires based on trust and understanding.”

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