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Across Asia, nations in a rush to build hundreds of new airports

Published on Jul 30, 2014 2:00 PM
 
Passengers pack the waiting hall at Hongqiao Railway Station which services terminal two at Shanghai Hongqiao International Airport on July 29, 2014. Faced with snaking queues at immigration, overflowing baggage carousels and expensive flight delays, Asian nations are rushing to build hundreds of new airports to cope with surging demand for air travel in the region. -- PHOTO: AFP

SINGAPORE (AFP) - Faced with snaking queues at immigration, overflowing baggage carousels and expensive flight delays, Asian nations are rushing to build hundreds of new airports to cope with surging demand for air travel in the region.

From China and India to the Philippines and Indonesia, the fast-growing middle classes are looking to spend their cash by spreading their wings, leading to a boom in the Asia-Pacific region's tourism sector.

Airlines have responded by setting up several new budget carriers and flying new routes - but many airports are unable to cope, forcing governments to either expand or simply build new airports.

"Through the next 10 years, we see more than 350 new airports in the Asia-Pacific and the investment cost will be well over US$100 billion (S$124 billion)," said Mr Chris De Lavigne, a global vice president at business consultancy Frost & Sullivan Asia Pacific.

 
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