THAI assists stranded passengers from Pakistan airspace closure


Bangkok – Thai Airways International (THAI) has started to fly out some 4,000 stranded passengers to European destinations whose flights were canceled Feb 27 due to sudden closure of Pakistani airspace as a result of the ongoing tension between Pakistan and India.

THAI Airways Director of Ground Operations Control Department, Teera Buasri, said the airline is working to accommodate passengers departing from Thailand whose flights were cancelled due to the airspace closure. The incident caused many flights worldwide to divert or return to origin airports in order to avoid flying over the airspace.

THAI Airways resumed operations to European destinations Friday, using alternative routing overflying Chinese airspace to avoid affected areas. Extra flights have been announced for Bangkok-Frankfurt, Bangkok-Paris, and Bangkok-London services to increase passenger capacity and allow all stranded passenger to travel within two to three days.

Teera said the airline has implemented industry standard measures to assist affected passengers, which involve special coordination with Airports of Thailand, the police, immigration bureau, and customs. About 800 passengers were provided with overnight accommodation.

The General Manager of Suvarnabhumi Airport, Wg. Cdr. Suthirawat Suwanawat said the incident caused cancellation of 16 arriving and 20 departing flights from the airport.

He said the airport deployed extra staff and arranged special wait areas for affected passengers near Entrance 1 on the 4th floor, Entrance 1 on the 2nd floor, and Entrances 3 and 1 on the 1st floor of the passenger terminal.

The airport will also help affected departing passengers whose visas have already expired to receive a temporary extension from the immigration police.