Loy Krathong flights to North sharply reduced

Loy Krathong flights to North sharply reduced

Carriers cite safety concerns because of lantern releases; Bangkok prepares for crowds

Children wait to float their krathong on Ong Ang canal in Bangkok on Loy Krathong Day last year. (Photo: Nutthawat Wicheanbut)
Children wait to float their krathong on Ong Ang canal in Bangkok on Loy Krathong Day last year. (Photo: Nutthawat Wicheanbut)

Air passengers to northern destinations are advised to check their flights as airlines have either cancelled or changed many flight times during the Loy Krathong festival next week

Celebrations in the northern provinces feature the release of thousands of yi peng lanterns, which are considered a potential hazard to aircraft.

Airports of Thailand Plc said on Friday that 53 flights to Chiang Mai would be cancelled and 24 rescheduled from Tuesday and Wednesday, while 10 flights to Chiang Rai would have new times during the same period.

The airport operator did not give details about which airlines had made changes, saying only that its information was based on notifications carriers had sent it as of Wednesday.

But Nok Air and Thai Smile Airways confirmed on Friday that their schedules would change from Monday to Wednesday. Other airlines have not announced their plans.

Nor Air even said its updated schedule would include flights to Mae Hong Son and Lampang apart from Chiang Mai and Chiang Rai.

The two airlines advised passengers to check flight times and said long queues at airports would be possible.

“Passengers who will be travelling to the destinations please recheck your flight time before the departure dates and spare your time for excessively long queues at the check-in counters,” Nok Air said.

Loy Krathong this year falls on Tuesday. In the northern region, the Yi Peng Festival runs from Monday to Wednesday.

In Bangkok, the Bangkok Metropolitan Administration said 2,000 staff would be stationed at 376 piers on the banks of the Chao Phraya River and canals on Loy Krathong Day.

City Hall spokesman Ekwaranyu Amrapan said the number of people on the piers at any given time to float krathongs would be strictly controlled for safety.

The Chao Phraya will reach its high tide at 5.33pm on Loy Krathong Day, according to City Hall.


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