For now, air traffic continues as normal

The coup's impact on air passenger traffic through Thailand is hard to measure so far, but the effects may start to emerge in the coming weeks.

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Airline executives on Tuesday said traffic flow, particularly through Suvarnabhumi, the country's gateway airport, remains normal since last Thursday, when the military seized power.

There is likely to be a lagging effect on inbound travel sentiment as news reports about the military takeover splash across the world and grow in intensity.

"Those who have booked tickets and are on their way are still coming, but what is worrying is we've begun to see forward bookings slow down," a Bangkok executive of a major Middle East carrier said yesterday.

But the executive, who asked to remain anonymous, said it was too early to gauge the extent of travel sentiment that would be affected by the coup.

Suvarnabhumi general manager Raweewan Netarakavesana confirmed air traffic through the airport, which handles 55% of passenger traffic through the country, had not been affected by the coup and related curfew.

"Having lost 30,000 passengers a day in the past several months [due to unrest], we have sustained a daily volume of 110,000 passengers," she told the Bangkok Post.

Many airlines say they are operating as scheduled, and all Thai airports report business as usual.

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