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Thailand's travel slump clouds outlook for $9bn 'Airport City'

Hopes for attracting aviation-related investment depend on growth in aircraft fleets

A passenger walks through Bangkok's Suvarnabhumi Airport. Thailand's airport expansion plan rests on the hope that travel will recover from he coronavirus pandemic.   © Reuters

BANGKOK -- Thailand has pushed ahead with an ambitious airport expansion in the Bangkok region despite the plunge in air traffic during the coronavirus pandemic.

The 290 billion baht ($9.4 billion) expansion of U-Tapao, dubbed the Eastern Airport City project, is part of a broader effort expected to double the total capacity of three airports around the Southeast Asian nation's capital to about 160 million passengers by 2024.

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