Airports to Reopen -
are still controlling Thailand's impressive new International airport, Suvarnabhumi, an airport the Airports of Thailand
(AOT) had hoped would eventually be ranked as one of the leading airports in the world.
Tuesday 25 November 2008, flights
to and from Suvarnabhumi International airport have been cancelled. In addition
to this, the old Don Muang Airport, which has some international as
well as domestic flights has also been closed by protestors.
thousands of Thai and foreign travellers, both in Thailand and outside
wanting to get in, have had their travel plans
seriously affected by these almost surreal tactics by the
these protests which have been going on for months, are politically
motivated, they are already having a very negative effect on Thai tourism,
and consequently the economy. November is traditionally the start
of the high season for tourism in Thailand, but around the country hotels
were already quieter than normal, thanks in part to the weakened global
economy and also the current unstable political situation. Reports of
many more cancelations and less
visitors as a whole can be widely expected now that travellers are being
in this way.
These negative actions by protestors, combined with
a weakened global economy, do not paint a positive future for the Thai
tourism industry. TAT and the industry as a whole, including neighboring
feeder markets, have worked for years to to build Thailand's tourism
industry and create a more positive overseas image. The industry is
extremely resilient having overcome difficulties like 9/11, SARS and the
'97 financial crisis, but how long it will take to overcome the problems
caused by these protestors is very unclear, especially as we are nowhere
near an actual outcome.
is strongly suggested that travellers try to contact their airline,
insurance company, embassy and / or
travel agent if affected by these latest developments.
Some flights are being
flown from U-Tapao
which is close to Pattaya - around a couple of hours from Bangkok. Other
taking matters into their own hands and travelling by land to other
airports in Thailand from where they can then try and connect with International services.
U-Tapao, Chiang Mai, Phuket, Phitsanulok, Khon Kaen,
Hua Hin, Surat Thani, Hat Yai,
Samui and Krabi all have airports which could be used by
international airlines, but most travellers we have spoken to are
connecting to flights via Phuket, Hat Yai and Chiang Mai.
are also advising passengers not to travel to U-Tapao directly,
as it has very limited check-in facilities and is already overcrowded.
Many airlines are offering complimentary bus services from Bangkok to U-Tapao.
We are also getting reports that Thailand's two other biggest airports
Chiang Mai and Phuket are also extremely busy, despite the fact that
some airlines have also increased services to these airports.
should also be noted that these special flights to and from U-Tapao are
unlikely to continue for too much longer. Once stranded passengers have
been returned, then most airlines will probably drop all of what some
are calling 'relief' or 'rescue' flights to the old military airport. SAS has already confirmed that all its Bangkok operations will operate to and from Phuket until further
notice, but some airlines may not have this option leading some to
cancel flights to Thailand altogether.
Trains and buses to neighbouring
countries are also alternative options.
2 DECEMBER UPDATES:
The Thai Court Decision passed today to dissolve the current government is in no way
surprising, many in Bangkok were expecting this
exact move by the courts. How it effects the siege of the two airports
in Bangkok - Suvarnabhumi and Don Muang - and what the reactions to the
decision will be, especially from pro-government supporters around
Thailand is still extremely unclear. From a traveller's perspective, the
decision itself is of little importance, instead it is what happens next
they should monitor. More to follow.
Airways International is requesting passengers with confirmed reservations, departing from U-Tapao to check-in at BITEC Exhibition and Convention Center, Bang-Na, seven (7) hours prior to their flight departure.
THAI will then provide transportation between BITEC and U-Tapao. The
closest skytrain station to to BIEC is the On Nut.
THAI is also providing transportation for passengers between U-Tapao Airport and Building 5, THAI’s Head Office on Vibhavadi Rangsit
Road in Bangkok.
Finnair's returning passengers are being brought from Bangkok via Phuket. Since Saturday, one repatriation flight per day has arrived in Helsinki. To date, Finnair has brought more than one thousand passengers back to Helsinki. From Wednesday 3 December, more than 500 passengers per day will be repatriated, when two flights per day fly from Phuket to Helsinki.
As U-Tapao airport has now been stretched beyond its capacity, SAS has deemed it is not possible to continue
its operations from that airport. SAS flights will instead be operated to and from Phuket in southern Thailand. SAS
has said it will do its utmost to assist transport for passengers in Bangkok by bus to Phuket and vice
Bangkok Airways’ passengers traveling on routes between U-Tapao-Siem Reap/
U-Tapao-Luang Prabang/ U-Ttapao-Maldives/ U-Tapao-Guilin/ U-Tapao-Samui/ and
U-Tapao-Phuket are able to check-in at Bangkok International Trade and Exhibition Centre (BITEC) at Hall EH106, counter number 35-37, six hours prior to departure time.
Flights from Hua Hin to Samui, passengers can also check in four hours prior departure, at Bangkok Airways’ Head Office (99 Vibhavadi Rangsit Road) where
the airline has organised complimentary transportation to Hua Hin Airport.
Qantas has confirmed it will operate a second relief flight between Phuket and Singapore early Wednesday 3 December.
The airline operated its first on Monday evening. Passengers on these flights will be bussed from Bangkok to Phuket and then be booked on first
available Qantas and British Airways flights to Australia and the UK.
will today operate its scheduled Melbourne-Bangkok service tomorrow via Phuket, with passengers bussed between Phuket and
Bangkok, and continue to operate its scheduled three-times-a-week Sydney-Phuket services.
1 DECEMBER UPDATES:
Airways International has requested its passengers with ticket reservations before 25 November 2008, traveling during 25 November – 31 December 2008, to contact
reservation and ticketing offices to make new reservations. THAI’s Head Office
is on Vibhavadi Rangsit Road, THAI’s Larn Luang Office and THAI’s Silom Office at BUI Building, opposite AIA Building on Suriwongse
today confirmed it will Operate Two Flights from U-Tapao to India today.
PBair has moved its Aircraft and Crew to Hua Hin Airport.
Empty Planes Fly from Closed Airport - Leaders of the protestors have
given permission for around 88 planes to depart from Suvarnabhumi
airport - empty - so they can be flown to other airports in the country
and help to relieve the growing number of people stranded in Thailand
through no fault of their own. More
other recent news regarding: