Thailand has a great range of national and international airports – 6 of these airports are actually owned by Airports of Thailand PLC. AOT (we will use this acronym from now on) was created in 2002 as a result of the privatisation of the AAT (Airports Authority of Thailand). Since then, the company has grown exponentially and currently stands as the most valuable airport operator in the world. This article looks at how AOT grew in 2017, why it is such a valuable company, and what this means for the future of Thailand’s airports.
How did Airports of Thailand PLC grow in 2017?
2017 was undoubtedly a landmark year for Airports of Thailand PLC. The company broke numerous records in terms of the number of passengers, capitalisation, stock prices and net gain valuation. Fuelled mainly by the increase in passengers and the popularity of Thailand as a tourist destination, AOT has even overtaken the Spanish giant Aena SA and neighbouring Asian airport companies such as Shanghai International Airport Co. The following provides a statistical overview of AOT’s performance in 2017 and their current position as the most valuable airport operator in the world:
Statistical analysis of AOT’s gains in 2017
– 75% gain since 01/05/2017
– Passed the 1 billion THB capitalisation mark
– 9.2% increase in AOT shares in December 2017
– 4.4% increase in AOT shares in first trading sessions of the new year
Generic AOT statistics
– Total current assets: Approximately 172 billion THB
– Total revenue: Approximately 52 billion THB
– 6000+ employees
– Accounts for over 120 million passengers per anum
– Passenger numbers have increased since 2015
What factors contributed to this impressive growth?
The main factor for continued growth and success is undoubtedly tourism. Thailand is a hugely popular tourist destination worldwide. Due to its diverse landscape and plethora of interesting cities, islands and coastal retreats, it attracts huge numbers of tourists on an annual basis. Since the political unrest of 2013-2015, the government has pushed tourism to great effect. Annual arrivals have increased from 11.6 million in 2004, up to over 32.5 million in 2016 and figures continue to rise. More tourists equal more air travel and more use for AOT’s airports.
Aside from the increase in tourism, Thailand continues to be a popular destination for expats from Europe and neighbouring Asian countries. Furthermore, business types from countries such as China, Singapore and Japan continue to travel to Thailand to invest and seek new opportunities. All of these factors mean increased business for AOT.
The Future For AOT
As AOT continues to make a profit and see an increase in business, this can only mean positive things for Thailand’s airports. If tourism levels and the number of passengers maintains at its current level or increases, this should mean that AOT can continue to invest in their 6 airports.
Whilst both Bangkok airports are already well-developed, this could even pave the way for improvements to the smaller airports such as Chiang Mai International and Hat Yai International – indeed some improvement are already being planned as we speak; Hat Yai international for example is undergoing expansion to boost its passenger capacity to 4.5 million by the end of 2018. As AOT continues to prosper, so should the airports of Thailand.
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