Thailand has a number of first-rate airports, the best known of which are Bangkok's Don Mueang International Airport, Chiang Mai International Airport, and Phuket Airport.

Don Mueang was once an important hub in Asia. Don Mueang started out as a Royal Thai Air Force base in 1914, and the first commercial flights began in 1924. In its heyday it served the most air traffic on the continent, averaging 160,000 flights and 38 million visitors annually; however, Don Mueang has since been surpassed by Suvarnabhumi Airport. Don Mueang was for a time a base for charter and military flights, but the airport reopened for domestic flights in 2007. It now serves two airlines: Nok Air and One-Two-GO Airlines. Thai Airways domestic flights were moved to Suvarnabhumi airport in March 2009, and Don Mueang has since become a support facility for Suvarnabhumi Airport.

Chiang Mai is a major gateway to northern Thailand and is 4 kilometers southwest of its namesake city. The airport receives an average of 130 flights a week from Bangkok, Singapore, China, Taiwan, Myanmar, and Cambodia. Chang Mai's domestic and international terminals are in one building, and its terminal houses multiple food outlets and souvenir stores. A dozen or so airport hotels are within close proximity.

Thailand is a newly industrialized country that relies on exports and tourism. After experiencing rapid industrial growth between 1985 and 1996, the economy slowed down for a time until it picked up again in 1999. Today Thailand exports rice, textiles, footwear, fishery products, rubber, jewelry, automobiles, computers and electrical appliances.