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Don Muang likely to take off again soon

BackJan 12, 2007

The Civil Aviation Department is likely to allow low-cost airlines and domestic flights to start using Don Muang airport again on a voluntary basis.

The department considered the feasibility of using Don Muang Airport with Airports of Thailand, travel operators and airlines at a meeting yesterday. The meeting was in response to some budget airlines that called for a return to Don Muang just a few months after the opening of Suvarnabhumi Airport.

Director-general Chaisak Angkasuwan said that only low-cost carriers had raised the issue of using Don Muang. However, the department is also likely to allow domestic flights to employ the airport on a voluntary basis.

Apinan Sumanaseni, president of Thai Airways International, said using Don Muang for THAI's domestic flights would be the best solution for the airline as it is more convenient for travellers than the distant Suvarnabhumi Airport.

Moreover, passengers could take less time at luggage claim than at Suvarnabhumi.

Chaisak said the simultaneous use of the two airports would not cause trouble with air traffic allotments.

Udom Tantiprasongchai, chief executive officer of budget airline One Two Go, agreed with using Don Muang Airport because this would provide more choice for passengers

"The move is a good decision," said Udom.

Tassapon Bejleveld, chief executive officer of Thai AirAsia, was the first to call for a return to the old airport. He said operating costs at Don Muang would be significantly lower than at Suvarnabhumi, so this would be good for low-cost airlines.


Source: The Nation
Friday, January 12, 2007