KUALA LUMPUR, June 25 – AirAsia had decided to move from Bangkok’s main international airport Suvarnabhumi to the older Don Mueang starting October 1 due to congestion issues the budget carrier said today.
This comes after Suvanarbhumi closed one of its runways for two months on June 11 potentially affecting AirAsia’s aircraft turnaround times.
AirAsia and its associate Thai AirAsia currently fly 16 times a day from Kuala Lumpur to Bangkok.
Mr Tassapon Bijleveld, CEO of Thai AirAsia, said that the capabilities of Don Mueang Airport are in line with AirAsia’s own growth plan and AirAsia could better manage its cost more effectively and provide passengers with improved service with the move.
“The uncongested Don Mueang Airport is sure to prove a benefit to AirAsia when it boosts its fleet of Airbus A320s to a total of 48 and welcomes more customers. The airport’s location also makes it conducive to further travel. Prospective travelers should have confidence in what Don Mueang has to offer”, said Mr Tassapon in a media statement.
AirAsia said that passengers who are affected by the switch to Don Mueang Airport, may alter their flights by either choosing another travel date on the same route either 7 days before or after their original travel date, at no additional cost.
They will also have an option to convert the paid flight into credit that is available to be used within the next 90 days.
The change options are only available to affected passengers who purchased their tickets before June 26, 2012 whose travel dates are from 1 October 2012 onwards.
The airline’s flight schedules are not affected however by the switch in airports.
It was reported that Airports of Thailand which operates both Don Mueang Airport and Suvarnabhumi Airport said it will waive most of the aviation-related fees at Don Mueang in August and September to encourage airlines to shift their operations and help ease air traffic congestion at Suvarnabhumi.
Suvarnabhumi, which opened in 2006, is the 6th busiest airport in Asia, and the busiest in the country, having handled 47.9 million passengers in 2011.