Thai budget airlines plan to stay at old airport


BANGKOK (XFNews) - Thai budget airlines said they plan to stay at Bangkok's existing airport to avoid paying high landing and operation fees at the country's new international airport, due to open in June 2006.

"We want to stay at Don Muang. As a low-cost carrier, it is cheaper for us to stay at Don Muang than moving to the new airport," said an official with Nok Air, Thailand's third-biggest low-cost airline.

"Also for our customers, it is better because a taxi fee from bangkok to don muang costs about THB100. But from Bangkok to the new airpot, it costs more than THB300," he said.

The new Suvarnabhumi international airport is located about 25 kilometers east of Bangkok.
Nok Air is a unit of the national carrier, Thai Airways International.

Another Thai budget carrier, One Two Go, also said it plans to stay at the current airport.

"We have no plan to move to the new airport. By staying at Don Muang, we want to minimize our operating costs as much as possible," a spokesman for One Two Go said.

Thai AirAsia, a unit of Malayasia-based Air Asia and the country's biggest low-cost airline, was quoted by the English daily Nation as saying it will continue to operate out of Don Muang.

Thai's tourist industry hopes Suvarnabhumi will help boost arrivals from 11.7 million last year to 20 million by 2010.

Airports of Thailand, the company that oversees the nation's airports, has commissioned a study to determine the fate of Don Muang. The findings are expected in December.

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