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BKK climbs in global ranking

Suvarnabhumi Airport has moved into the world’s 10 busiest airports in terms of international passengers, underscoring its importance as a global hub.

The gateway airport, code-named BKK, was 10th in the 2010 global ranking by Airports Council International (ACI), putting it in the same league as world leaders such as London, Paris, Hong Kong and Dubai.

A total of 31.41 million international passengers went through Suvarnabhumi last year, up 9% from the previous year’s record, or just 750,000 below Tokyo Narita, which held the No. 9 position.

Meanwhile, Phuket Airport ranked eighth in the world’s 25 fastest-growing airports last year in the category of those with at least 5 million passengers a year, due to a 26.5% rise in passenger throughput in 2010 to touch 7.31 million.

The ranking of Suvarnabhumi by ACI should put to rest doubts and debates over whether it is a key part of the global air transport network, industry analysts said.

Montreal-based ACI monitors air traffic at 1,318 airports in 157 countries.

Suvarnabhumi was not one of the world’s 10 busiest airports in total passenger throughput (domestic and international), nor was its closest rival, Singapore.

Listed in that category were, in order: Atlanta, Beijing, Chicago, London, Tokyo Haneda, Los Angeles, Paris, Dallas/Forth Worth, Frankfurt and Denver.After an 18.95% jump in international passenger traffic in the first half of this year to reach 18.79 million, and with a continued increase in the second, Suvarnabhumi has the potential to move up in the 2011 ACI ranking for international throughput.

ACI said there was a strong rebound in traffic through the world’s airports in 2010 from the two-year industry slump. Global passenger traffic rose 6.6%, topping one billion for the first time. Cargo volume hit a record 91 million tonnes with 15.3% growth.

Worldwide airport passenger numbers rose in all six regions surveyed. The Middle East (+12%), Asia-Pacific (+11.3%), Africa (+9.5%) and Latin America-Caribbean (+13.2%) showed high growth, while Europe and North America grew more robustly than before.

Worldwide domestic traffic increased 5.8%, and international traffic rose 7.7%. Aircraft movements rose 1.1% to 74 million.

Some 69% of airports worldwide registered positive passenger growth at an average of 8.6%, while 30% of airports lost traffic at an average of -4.1%.

Source: Bangkok Post

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