Airport Resumes Full Services

Thailands Suvarnabhumi
International Airport
prepared to restore full operations
today for the first time since an eight-day blockade by anti-government
protesters ended on Wednesday.

    The smaller
domestic Don Muang airport is functioning normally with Thai Airways flying all
of its scheduled flights within the country.

    The sieges
of the two airports by the People’s Alliance for
Democracy left about 350,000 travellers stranded in Thailand, while many others were
unable to fly into the country during what is traditionally the peak tourist
season.

    Officials
at the airports and airlines are still scrambling to reschedule all flights
postponed during the siege.

    Singapore
Airlines will resume flying to and from Bangkok
today. Its first flight from Suvarnabhumi airport will depart for Singapore
shortly after 1pm Thai time, the airline said.

    Thai
Airways ran the first international flight out of Suvarnabhumi airport on
Wednesday, while several regional airlines, including Jetstar Asia, Tiger
Airways, Asiana Airlines, Bangkok Airways, China Airlines, Japan Airlines and
Cathay Pacific have announced plans to resume flights.

    Thai
officials have been scrambling to get the airport fully functional in time for
the birthday of revered King Bhumibol Adulyadej, who turns 81 today. Yesterday,
scenes of normalcy began returning to the airport. Shops and restaurants
reopened as holidaymakers arrived for their vacations.

    At the
international arrival gates, tourists started arriving from Istanbul,
Sydney and Dhaka.

    One of them
was Danish musician Mikkel Hornnes, 34. ‘It’s hard to imagine that just last week,
there were thousands of protesters at this airport…Now it looks like normal
again.’

    His Turkish
Airlines flight, which touched down shortly after 2pm Thai time, was one of the
65 inbound flights that landed yesterday.

    Flights
restarted on Wednesday and stepped up yesterday, with more than 100 departures
from Suvarnabhumi airport in a bid to clear the travellers trapped in Thailand. But
it will take time to clear the backlog of stranded tourists.

   Stranded
travellers made their way to the airport on Wednesday, only to find the airline
check-in counters unmanned. Some also complained of confusing instructions from
the airlines and airport staff.

 

 

 


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