The Thai economy’s key role as a component supplier for electronic and auto sectors has not been diminished following last year’s flooding. According to one air freight executive, cargo volumes through Bangkok's Suvarnabhumi airport have fully recovered from the flooding that afflicted large swathes of the country and saw many of Thailand’s industrial centers close for extended periods causing global supply chain disruption.
“Passenger markets are fully recovered since the flooding last year with cargo imports up significantly year over year and exports are up around 10% year over year,” said Stewart Sinclair, senior vice president Asia and managing director of ground handler Bangkok Flight Services, which handles 45 airlines at BFS at Suvarnabhumi and some 45% of the airport’s cargo market.
Reconstruction efforts helped Thailand’s GDP growth rebound from an 8.9% year-on-year contraction in the final quarter of last year to 0.3 percent growth year-over-year in the first quarter of 2012.
Airports of Thailand said it would spend $1.9 billion over the next five years to expand capacity at the airport which only opened in 2006 but is already close to capacity.
In July some domestic and international services will be switched back to Don Muang airport, Suvarnabhumi’s predecessor as Thailand’s hub airport, to help ease congestion.
Sinclair said BFS was now offering a full rain care service to customers to provide full protection on the ramp for cargo pallets during the rainy season via a reusable heavy waterproof cover that is removed just prior to loading the pallet onto the aircraft.
Since the beginning of this year BFS has started serving Royal Brunei airline for ramp, passenger and cargo flights, Delta for ramp handling and JetAsia for ramp and passenger handling, he added.
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