151 flights postponed or cancelled for sky lantern festival in Chiang Mai

Thousands of sky lanterns during the Yi Peng Festival in Chiang Mai.
Thousands of sky lanterns during the Yi Peng Festival in Chiang Mai.

CHIANG MAI – The annual Loy Krathong festival will take place on November 11th, while the Yi Peng Festival in Chiang Mai province will be celebrated between November 10 and 12. As many revellers launch floating lanterns into the night sky during this festive period, Chiang Mai International Airport has issued an announcement on flight cancellations and schedule changes for safety reasons.

The Deputy Director of Chiang Mai International Airport, Flg. Off. Thananrat Prasertsri, said the airport has asked government agencies, private firms and local administrative organizations for cooperation by following Section 33 of the Thailand Air Navigation Act and the safety guidelines regarding the launch of floating lanterns during the Loy Krathong festival. People are not allowed to play with fireworks and launch floating lanterns or similar objects near the airport because they may interfere with the aircraft navigation.

Flg. Off. Thananrat said a total of 151 flights have been rescheduled or cancelled. Sixty-six domestic flights and 30 international flights have been cancelled, and 41 domestic and 14 international flights have been rescheduled. Passengers will not be unduly inconvenienced as flight operators have notified them in advance about the situation.

According to a survey, conducted by the University of the Thai Chamber of Commerce’s (UTCC) Center for Economic and Business Forecasting, consumer spending will be less active during the Loy Krathong festival for the second consecutive year. Spending is expected to decrease from 9.69 billion baht to 9.57 billion baht, down by 1.3%, due to cautious sentiments over the global economy.

The survey also showed that 62.5% of the respondents still plan to float their krathong baskets this year to preserve the traditional way of life.