PHUKET (Tourism Authority of Thailand) - It is hoped that the reduction in fees will provide an added incentive for tour operators to develop more charter package tours to Phuket thereby increasing the number of chartered flights to the island destination. This will increase confidence and encourage more international airlines to resume or initiate services to Phuket and assist post-tsunami recovery in the Andaman Sea region.
In an effort to accelerate post-tsunami tourism recovery in Phuket and the nearby provinces of the Andaman Coast, the Ministry of Tourism and Sports, the Tourism Authority of Thailand and representatives of the Ministry of Transportation, the Department of Civil Aviation, Aeronautical Radio of Thailand Ltd., Airports of Thailand Public Company Limited and Thai Airways International Public Company Limited jointly agreed to a temporary reduction in landing and related fees at Phuket International Airport for charter and other non-regular flights between October and December 2005.
The following reductions for non-regular flights at Phuket International Airport were approved.
The Airports of Thailand Public Company Limited reduced landing and take-off fees to 50% of current listed fees from October to December 2005;
The Aeronautical Radio of Thailand Ltd. extended its 15% reduction of air traffic control fees for three months from October to December 2005;
Thai International Airways Public Company Limited decreased its ground handling fees by 10% for the 6-month period from July to December 2005.
The decision to reduce these fees arose out of a meeting organized by the Ministry of Tourism and Sports and the Tourism Authority of Thailand on 8 September 2005 to identify ways to attract more package tours to the Andaman coastal region following a drastic reduction of in-bound charter flights. The meeting was attended by representatives of the Ministry of Transportation, the Department of Civil Aviation, Aeronautical Radio of Thailand Ltd., Airports of Thailand, and Thai Airways International.
During the two peak tourism periods in 2004 (January to March and November to December), a substantial number of non-scheduled flights flew into Phuket from Korea (205 flights), Sweden (159 flights), Finland (104 flights), China (104 flights), Russia (61 flights), Taiwan (50 flights) and a further 110 flights from other countries. Between them they carried 155,437 passengers.
Following the tsunami incident, the number of non-regular flights, primarily from Asian countries, to Phuket International Airport in the first seven months of 2005 dropped by 82% with total visitor arrivals to Phuket at 18,633 persons. In comparison, the decrease in regular flights to Phuket during the first half of 2005 was 30 per cent.
Based on these findings, landing and related fees at Phuket International Airport for non-scheduled flights were reduced in an attempt to attract more chartered flights to the island destination which would in turn increase confidence and encourage more international airlines to resume or launch services to Phuket
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