The first group of Thais who returned to Thailand to escape the unrest in Cairo travelled by Thai Airways International (THAI) flight TG8477 and arrived safely at Don Mueang Airport at 2.05pm.
The second batch of 260 Thai citizens are travelling on two chartered flights scheduled to land at Don Mueang Airport at around 10pm.
Representing Thailand’s Muslim spiritual leader, Preeda Chuapudee voiced confidence that the government would bring all Thai nationals who wish to leave turmoil-hit Egypt back home. He also asked the government to help arrange return flights for cash-strapped students and workers once the bloody violence eases.
"I'm glad to see the first batch of Thais has landed safely and I hope for the situation to return to normal soon so I can go back to further my studies," said Assarin Daragai, a Thai student attending an Islamic Law programme at Al Azhar University in Cairo.
"A majority of Thai students would like to return to Thailand as they felt insecure and unsafe in Cairo, especially when the violence was sparked by political instability," said Panupong Ruangpraj, also a religion student
A chef at Cairo’s Fairmont Hotel, Theerapoen Pongkhun, thanked the Thai government and foreign ministry officials for timely assistance to Thai nationals affected by Egypt's political crisis
Nattawut Pothisaro, a deputy permanent secretary at the Thai Foreign Ministry said some 300 Thais decided not to return home, and the Thai embassy in Cairo and the Thai Student Association would later ask for their decision.
He said the situation in Egypt was not at a critical level but fluctuating, but the Thai government advised leaving for safety reasons.
A Thai Air Force C-130 transport aircraft is now at Dubai in the United Arab Emirates standing by for additional Thais wanting to return home and would be the last aircraft to leave with the evacuees.