BANGKOK, June 17 (Reuters) - Airports of Thailand (AOT) said it expects passenger numbers and revenue to fall by 50% in 2020 as a result of the coronavirus crisis.
AOT, which manages six airports including Bangkok’s main Suvarnabhumi, on Wednesday forecast a 50.7% year-on-year drop in revenue for its 2020 fiscal year and a 42.2% fall in 2021.
If a vaccine can be developed and distributed by July next year, the Thai economy can begin to recover after January 2022, then air traffic volumes could return to normal levels by October that year, state-owned AOT said in a statement.
It expects that by 2023, passenger numbers will reach 144.2 million and 902,000 flights, slightly above pre-crisis levels.
“Such forecasts are based on the assumption that a second wave of COVID-19 infections still strike different countries targeted for making bilateral agreements on (a) travel bubble with Thailand,” AOT said.
Thailand has not yet signed any agreements for a tourism or travel exchange with other countries.
AOT said it expects travel within Thailand, which on Tuesday approved a domestic tourism package worth 22.4 billion baht, to begin to recover in August and reach normal levels in October 2022.
Thailand’s aviation regulator suspended all commercial flights from entering the country since April.
The country has recorded a total 58 deaths among 3,135 confirmed coronavirus cases. (Reporting by Chayut Setboonsarng; Editing by Alexander Smith)