With 38 commercial airports, diverse access to international flights, and a growing domestic airline presence, the Thailand aerospace industry is an under-rated component of the local economy. There is a wide range of incentives, both tax-based and non-tax, which offer unique opportunities within aerospace that are not available in other markets in the world.
Because of the country’s centralized location in Southeast Asia and the generalized Asia-Pacific region, air traffic in Thailand is growing at three times the rate of international air traffic. The number of passenger and aircraft movements had growth above 13% from 2011 to 2015.
Future plans are under development to continue maximizing the impact that the aerospace industry has in Thailand, such as the Suvamabhumi Airport Development Projects, valued at THB 65.2 million, which will offer new passenger terminals, utilities, and flight capacity.
Important Thailand Aerospace Industry Statistics
#1. The Thailand aerospace will be capable of handling 68 flights per hour with its current infrastructure. That translates to a total capacity of 1.7 million metric tons of cargo per year, along with 45 million passengers per year, through the new Suvamabhumi airport complex when it opens. (Thailand Board of Investment)
#2. The Don Mueang International Airport handles 40 flights per hour and has a total capacity of handing 211,000 metric tons of cargo and 30 million passengers per year. (Thailand Board of Investment)
#3. Total expenditures for the Thailand aerospace industry were $771.9 million, or about 40% of the total MRO spending which took place in the country. (Thailand Board of Investment)
#4. Air Asia controls the largest share of domestic flights in Thailand, accounting for 28% of the arrivals and departures which occur. Nick Air is responsible for 27% of the traffic which occurs for the industry. (Thailand Board of Investment)
#5. Components make up the majority of MRO spending in Thailand, accounting for over $320 million in expenditures. Engine maintenance required another $213 million in spending in 2015. (Thailand Board of Investment)
#6. Over $610 million in exports for aircraft, spacecraft, and parts was generated by the Thailand aerospace industry in 2015. Over $3.2 billion in components was imported to Thailand from this category as well. (Thailand Board of Investment)
#7. In total, air cargo movements within the Thailand aerospace industry reached 1.6 million tons in 2017, an increase of 0.15 million tons from the year before. (U.S. Department of Commerce)
#8. Airports managed by the aerospace industry in Thailand handled a total of 129.2 million passengers in 2017, which was an increase of 7.5 million passengers from the year before. (U.S. Department of Commerce)
#9. There were over 823,000 arrivals and departures within the industry that were handled in 2017. (U.S. Department of Commerce)
#10. As of 2017, the Thailand aerospace industry employed over 3,700 technicians and engineers within the commercial MRO sector. Through 2037, another 7,700 jobs for technicians and engineers are expected to be created. (Frost and Sullivan)
#11. The industry’s expertise is the creation of Tier 3 and Tier 4 manufacturing for original equipment manufacturers. This segment of the aerospace industry is valued at $1.43 billion, as of 2015, and employed about 8,000 people. (Frost and Sullivan)
#12. About 36% of global air traffic is based in the Asia-Pacific region, where passenger air traffic rates have doubled every 15 years since the 1980s. (Aviation Pros)
#13. Total air traffic in Thailand increased by 21% from 2014 to 2015, with aircraft movement rates increased by 17%. That growth resulted in a surge of $167 million in revenues for the country. (Aviation Pros)
#14. Tax incentives in the industry are 8 years, without cap, for the manufacturing of aircraft, aircraft parts, or aerospace devices, equipment, and operating systems. (Thailand Board of Investment)
#15. Phuket International Airport is responsible for a majority of the cargo which is handled by the Thailand aerospace industry. It’s current capacity is 1.7 million metric tons per year, despite having a total flights per hour capacity of just 23. (Thailand Board of Investment)
Thailand Aerospace Industry Trends and Analysis
Because there has been a surge in passenger traffic within Thailand recently, airlines are working to expand their local networks. This has encouraged the government of Thailand to create more expansion opportunities for the industry, which has helped to connect more second-level cities to the capital, creating even more tourism opportunities.
By 2027, the government of Thailand hopes to build 29 new airports, which would further boost access to other cities within the country.
The Eastern Economic Corridor in Thailand is also targeting a $7 billion investment in aviation-related industries, along with MROs, to provide opportunities for stable growth within the industry.
Much of the hope for the Thailand aerospace industry in coming years is based on the completion of numerous infrastructure projects. Delays in these projects could hinder the growth opportunities that are expected for the industry. On the whole, however, Thailand is experiencing strong growth and the aerospace industry is taking advantage of it.