THAI: Stranded passengers to be cleared within 3 days

THAI: Stranded passengers to be cleared within 3 days

Stranded travellers crowd Suvarnabhumi airport on Thursday. Thai Airways International plans to move the remaining 3,000 to their destinations within 3 days. (File photo)
Stranded travellers crowd Suvarnabhumi airport on Thursday. Thai Airways International plans to move the remaining 3,000 to their destinations within 3 days. (File photo)

Thai Airways International plans to move 3,000 passengers stranded at Suvarnabhumi airport by the India-Pakistan border clash to their destinations within three days.

All Thai Airways International flights between Thailand and Europe were cancelled on Wednesday night and early Thursday after Pakistan closed its airspace.

Thera Buasri, director of ground operations control, said on Friday about 4,000 THAI passengers had been affected.

About 3,000 passengers remained stranded at Suvarnabhumi airport. Arrangement were being made to get them all to their intended destinations within three days. 

Currently, all THAI flights to Europe were full, he said.

Flights which normally passed through Pakistan airspace to Europe had since been rerouted through Chinese airspace and Russian airspace, Mr Theera said.

Suvarnabhumi airport director Suthirawat Suwannawat said the passenger terminals were crowded with stranded passengers wanting to leave. The closure of the airspace had affected 16 inbound flights and 20 outbound flights.

The airport was working closely with the Immigration Bureau and the Airports of Thailand (AoT) to help the delayed travellers. Temporary shelter was being arranged. Some 800 passengers had been accommodated at hotels, Wng Cdr Suthirawat said.

Pakistan aviation authorities announced on Thursday the country's skies would reopen to commercial traffic at midnight (2am Friday Bangkok).

The closure followed clashes between the two nuclear-armed neighbours over the border in Kashmir. Both sides claimed to have shot down warplanes from the other side.  

India also suspended flights through some of its northern airports on Wednesday. Those facilities were back to normal on Thursday, but flights both to the US and Europe out of New Delhi were affected.

Transport Ministter Arkhom Termpittayapaisith said on Friday he had instructed THAI to urgently solve the problem,  take care of the stranded passengers and keep them abreast of the situation.

THAI’s director for aviation safety Pratthana Pattanasiri said the national flag carrier had provided meals and beverages around the clock for passengers waiting for check-in. Accommodation had also been arranged.


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