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Covid transit flights through Thailand banned

Bangkok's Don Mueang airport is virtually empty last month. China has temporarily banned two airlines after their chartered flights in transit from the airport carried Covid-19 infected passengers to Chinese cities over the past week. (Photo: Pattarapong Chatpattarasill)

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The Civil Aviation Authority of Thailand has banned all flights with Covid-19 infected passengers from transiting through Thailand after China banned two flights from here.

CAAT director-general Chula Sukmanop spoke of the new measure on Thursday in response to the report that the Chinese government temporarily banned the services of Thai AirAsia X and Thai Lion Air for carrying some passengers infected with the coronavirus disease to China.

Under the new requirement, he said, airlines must sell tickets only to passengers who had Covid-19-free certification for flights transiting through Thailand.

The requirement applies even though passengers do not get off the planes in the country, Mr Chula said.

Most international flights at this time were those chartered to carry people back to their homeland.

Media reported that China banned both airlines for a week after some passengers on their flights on July 10 and 13 were found to be infected. The flights were from Kuala Lumpur and Jakarta via Bangkok's Don Mueang airport to Tianjin and Guangzhou, China. 

Taweesilp Visanuyothin, spokesman of the Centre for Covid-19 Situation Administration, said both chartered flights made stopovers in Thailand, probably for the rights to fly to China since direct routes from Kuala Lumpur and Jakarta are still banned, he said.

He confirmed that the passengers on both flights remained on their planes during the stopovers. About 5-6 passengers each on the two flights had Covid-19, he said.

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Vocabulary:

banned : officially not allowed to do something - ถูกห้าม

certification : an official document stating that someone has passed an examination or has achieved the qualifications necessary to do something - เอกสารการรับรอง

charter : a boat, plane, or bus that is available for hire, especially for use by a group of people; to hire a boat, plane or bus - เครื่องบินเหมาลำ, การเช่าเหมาเรือ, เช่าเหมา

homeland (noun): your country; the country you were born in; the country that you come from - บ้านเกิด

right (noun): something that you are allowed to do, either by law or morally - สิทธิ

stopover (n): a break in a journey -

transit : the act of moving from one place to another - การเดินทางผ่าน

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