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Old November 22nd, 2008, 09:15 PM   #1281
napoleon
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AoT continues programme for Suvarnabhumi expansion Needs to grow before demand increases

Bangkokpost 21/11/2008


Airports of Thailand Plc (AoT) confirmed its intention to spearhead the 78-billion-baht expansion of Suvarnabhumi Airport even as politics and economic woes slow air traffic through Bangkok.


The scheme, which will increase passenger handling capacity at Thailand's gateway airport by 33%, should not be held back by the short-term impacts of the economic recession, said AoT acting president Serirat Prasutanond, adding "we are investing for the future".


The expansion will lift passenger capacity to 60 million a year from 45 million currently and is slated for the next five to six years. It is vital if Suvarnabhumi wants to maintain its hub status in Southeast Asia, said Mr Serirat.


State-controlled AoT also wants to start the expansion project, initially slated for immediately after the airport opened two years ago, so that the facility is ready when demand growth returns.


Despite the slowdown in traffic, the airport is still near its capacity with 42 million passengers expected this year, Mr Serirat said.


The 2009 projection is for the same 42 million, as the global financial crisis affects demand.


"We have a thin margin of three million passengers before reaching the existing capacity and that margin could be easily filled in just one year, based on normal trends," he explained.


In the first 10 months of this year, passenger traffic through Suvarnabhumi edged down 0.79% year-on-year to 33.64 million, while flight movements slipped 2.80% to 211,453, according to AoT statistics.


AoT's most recent projection envisaged traffic through Suvarnabhumi would rise by 6.5% short-term, 5.5% medium-term and 4% long-term.


However, the slowdown in demand growth has eased some pressure on AoT to rush its expansion. Suvarnabhumi's so-called phase 2 development plan is being scrutinised by the National Economic and Social Development Board and the Transport MInistry. If endorsed, it will be forwarded to the cabinet for final approval.


AoT aims to call a tender for the airport expansion work next year and hopes to begin construction by the end of 2009.


About 33 billion baht of the estimated project cost would come from loans from the Japan Bank for International Co-operation (JBIC), which was a major lender for the phase-one Suvarnabhumi project that cost 155 billion baht.


The aviation industry warned that Suvarnabhumi was losing to rival airports in Southeast Asia, namely Singapore's Changi Airport and Kuala Lumpur International Airport (KLIA), as the region's preferred air hubs due to its restricted capacity and high service fees.


The airport, dubbed a pet project of fugitive former prime minister Thaksin Shinawatra and fraught with corruption allegations, handled nearly 80 million passengers and 2.42 million tonnes of cargo in the first two years of operation.
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Old November 23rd, 2008, 01:24 PM   #1282
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pktown View Post
Those red seats look lovely. You can actually sleep comfortably in the terminal if you need to. Most terminal seats are "unsleepable."
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Old November 25th, 2008, 05:02 PM   #1283
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AoT ponders cutting fees, easing terms for airlines

Bangkokpost 25/11/2008


Airports of Thailand Plc (AoT) is considering providing more relief to international airlines operating through Suvarnabhumi Airport to enable them to weather the deepening economic recession.


Generally, the relief would come in the form of reduced landing and parking fees, and the extension of fee payment terms, said AoT acting president Serirat Prasutanond.


A study for the proposed relief is taking into account economic factors and trend, and is expected to be completed in the next two to three months.


The relief could be offered by the end of March next year for a period of one year, he told the Bangkok Post.


The relief will certainly affect the state-controlled airport operator's revenue earnings, Mr Serirat said, "but AoT is better off helping carriers to continue flying through Suvarnabhumi and paying service fees to us."


Earlier, AoT agreed to slash the landing fees at Suvarnabhumi by 5%, halve the aircraft parking fee, and extend the payment term for various airport service fees to 60 days from 30 days.


That concession, lasting four months to the end of next month, was meant to enable airlines to weather the storm triggered by a tripling of fuel prices since 2006, with a twofold increase in last year alone.


But the proposed new package is supposed to deal with a problem with much greater magnitude - the alarmingly fast-paced and widespread deterioration in global passenger traffic, a decline which has not been seen since Sars in 2003, resulting from the global financial crisis.


The International Air Transport Association (IATA) said the oil price, which has fallen by around 60% from its July peak, is not enough to offset the impact of the drop in demand.


At this rate, losses incurred among airlines may be even deeper than IATA's previous forecast of US$5.2 billion for this year.


The Airline Operators Committee (AOC), a coalition of international airlines operating in Thailand, welcomed AoT's plan to reduce fees, saying that any assistance extended by AoT would contribute to the airlines' effort to keep their costs down.


AOC chairman Jaiyavat Navaraj said the airlines would like to see AoT reduce other fees like the electricity and aircraft air-conditioning charges.


Mr Serirat said airlines would need relief much more in the summer traffic programme, starting at the end of March to the end of October, as the traffic is much lower seasonally.


Passenger traffic through Bangkok's new international airport has slowed down, contracting 0.79% in the first 10 months of this year to 33.64 million, while flight movements slipped 2.80% to 211,453, according to AoT statistics.


For the whole of 2008, Suvarnabhumi is expected to handle 42 million passengers.
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Old November 25th, 2008, 08:42 PM   #1284
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FM 2258 View Post
Those red seats look lovely. You can actually sleep comfortably in the terminal if you need to. Most terminal seats are "unsleepable."
I was gonna say something like that
Most airports discourage sleep or something
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Old November 25th, 2008, 09:05 PM   #1285
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so, the oppossition controls the airport right now?
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Old November 25th, 2008, 09:13 PM   #1286
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Suvarnabhumi Airport Partially Closed For Security Reasons
November 26, 2008 00:24 AM
By D. Arul Rajoo

BANGKOK, Nov 25 (Bernama) -- The Suvarnabhumi Airport, Thailand's busiest airport and main gateway has been partially closed until further notice due to security reasons after hundreds of anti government supporters filtered into the terminal Monday night.

The airport was closed for departure flights but remains open for incoming flights.

The Airport Authority of Thailand made the announcement as the People Alliance for Democracy (PAD) gave an ultimatum to Prime Minister Somchai Wongsawat to resign without any conditions.

"Somchai must take responsibility for the Oct 7 incident which saw two of our people killed and over 500 injured," Sondhi Limthongkul, a hardcore leader for PAD told thousands of PAD supporters at the government house which they had seized on Aug 26.

Malaysia Airlines was also forced to cancel four of its scheduled flights between Bangkok and Kuala Lumpur Wednesday.

At the airport, PAD supporters were seen roaming at the passenger terminal and inside the duty free shopping zone.

Earlier Monday, hundreds of anti-government supporters tried to block roads leading to the Suvarnabhumi airport as they continued with their attempt to topple the elected government of Wongsawat who is due to return from Peru tomorrow.

Police also said several people were injured, including at least two by gunfire, when pro-government supporters and PAD supporters clashed near the Don Muang Airport.

-- BERNAMA
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Old November 25th, 2008, 09:18 PM   #1287
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Anti-Govt Protests Spread To Suvarnabhumi Airport
November 25, 2008 23:27 PM
By D. Arul Rajoo

BANGKOK, Nov 25 (Bernama) -- Hundreds of anti- government supporters tried to block roads leading to Bangkok's Suvarnabhumi airport today as they continued with their attempts to topple the elected government of Prime Minister Somchai Wongsawat who is due to return home from Peru.

Police also said several people were injured, including at least two by gunshot, when pro-government supporters and those of the People's Alliance for Democracy (PAD) clashed near Don Muang Airport.

The PAD, which launched its "final battle" Monday to force out Somchai's government, took its supporters again early morning Tuesday to Don Muang Airport, where the prime minister has a temporary office, after Government House was seized by the anti-government group on Aug 26.

The group then moved to the busy Suvarnabhumi Airport at around 5 pm but was blocked by riot police from entering the vicinity of the terminal as they vowed to stay there to confront Somchai who is due to return at noon Wednesday after attending the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (Apec) meeting in Lima, Peru.

An airline office said so far no flights were affected but many airlines have extended their check-in time for passengers who could have been trapped in the traffic jam.

He said airlines operating there had asked airport authorities to divert Somchai's charter plane to another airport in the country to avoid problems with the PAD supporters.

The local media reported that the chartered plane carrying Somchai had some technical problems and could be delayed but government spokesman Natthawut Saikua said Somchai would certainly return tomorrow.

So far, no untoward incidents had been reported at the Suvarnabhumi Airport but some taxi drivers operating at the airport were furious with the PAD action and were seen shouting at them.

On Monday, thousands of PAD supporters besieged the Parliament building, Bangkok police headquarters and the Finance Ministry but the police and soldiers showed restraint and did not confront the protesters.

PAD leaders had said this would be their final battle to topple the government since beginning their street rallies on May 25 against the government made up of ousted Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra's allies.

Led by media tycoon Sondhi Limthongkul, who organised mass demonstrations in the capital in 2006 that paved the way for the military ouster of Thaksin, PAD had been staging daily street rallies in the capital since May 25.

-- BERNAMA
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Old November 25th, 2008, 09:46 PM   #1288
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They all should go find jobs.
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Old November 25th, 2008, 09:52 PM   #1289
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I'm flying to bangkok on Thursday!! This cannot be happening!
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Old November 25th, 2008, 09:54 PM   #1290
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Thai protests are relatively peaceful and full of old women
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Old November 26th, 2008, 07:31 AM   #1291
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3,000 Passengers Stranded At Protest-Hit Bangkok Airport
November 26, 2008 08:22 AM



AFP Photo
Anti-government protesters shout slogans during a protest at Suvarnabhumi
international airport in Bangkok. At least 3,000 passengers remained stranded
at Bangkok's international airport early Wednesday as anti-government
protesters kept control of the building, the airport chief said.


BANGKOK (AFP) - At least 3,000 passengers remained stranded at Bangkok's international airport early Wednesday as anti-government protesters kept control of the building, the airport chief said.

"There are 78 outbound and incoming flights affected. I have been informed by Thai Airways that 3,000 passengers are stranded at the terminal now," airport director Saereerat Prasutanont told AFP.

"Operations at Suvarnabhumi Airport have been totally shut down since 4am (2100 GMT Tuesday) both outbound and inbound after protesters refused to negotiate with anyone except the prime minister," said Saereerat.

He said passengers were unable to leave the terminal because guards from the People's Alliance for Democracy (PAD), the main group behind the anti-government demonstrations, had sealed off entrance roads to the airport.

Protesters forced the airport to close on Tuesday as demonstrations in the Thai capital descended into violence with 11 injured in clashes.

Thousands of demonstrators breached police lines and stormed the airport -- a major hub for millions of travellers -- in their effort to pressure Prime Minister Somchai Wongsawat's government to resign.

© AFP 2008
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Old November 26th, 2008, 07:32 AM   #1292
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Bangkok Airport Likely To Reopen At Noon
November 26, 2008 11:15 AM
By D. Arul Rajoo

BANGKOK, Nov 26 (Bernama) -- The Suvarnabhumi Airport, Thailand's main gateway, is expected to reopen for outbound flights at noon today despite being seized by thousands of anti-government supporters Tuesday night.

The Airports of Thailand (AOT) authority has told airline companies that the airport could be reopened although there were doubts as supporters of the People's Alliance for Democracy (PAD) continued to block roads leading to the airport and had taken over passenger terminals.

Hundreds of riot police and soldiers remained helpless as over 10,000 outbound passengers, mostly foreigners on long-haul flights to Europe, China and Japan, were left stranded after all outbound flights were cancelled at 9 pm Tuesday.

It was the second key installation to be seized by the PAD, three months after its supporters took over the seat of the country's administration, the Government House which houses the Prime Minister's Office.

The US$3.5 billion airport, which opened for flights in September 2006, is one of the busiest in the world and can accommodate 45 million passengers per year, 76 flights per hour and three million tonnes of cargo.

Malaysia Airlines (MAS), which operates four daily flights between Bangkok and Kuala Lumpur, has cancelled MH784 which was due to leave the Kuala Lumpur International Airport (KLIA) at 9.10 am (Malaysian time) and arrive in Bangkok at 10.15 am (Thai time), and also the return MH785 flight.

A MAS official said that despite the AOT assurance that the airport could be reopened at noon, the remaining three flights later in the day have been put on hold as the situation remained chaotic.

Tension has been growing in the capital since Monday when the PAD launched its "final battle" to topple Prime Minister Somchai Wongsawat who is expected to return home after attending the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (Apec) meeting in Peru.

The protesters stormed the airport in order to block Somchai's return, but he is expected to fly to the northern city of Chiang Mai where the government has strong backing, and possibly declare a state of emergency soon.

At least three bombs exploded in the capital today, one injuring a PAD supporter at the Don Muang Airport, where the PAD had blocked all entrances to Somchai's temporary office since Monday, and another not far from Government House and targeting a taxi radio station.

There were several clashes between PAD and pro-government supporters, as well as with taxi drivers who were shut out of the airport.

PAD, which is bent on changing the country's political system that favours appointment rather than through an election, continued to demand that the military stage another coup to topple the government after similar action in 2006 saw the ouster of Somchai's brother in law, Thaksin Shinawatra.

-- BERNAMA
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Old November 26th, 2008, 07:59 AM   #1293
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Eirgh .. another reason to stay away from Thailand for the time being.
Was hoping the political instability would end in time for some cheap Christmas specials to emerge.
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Old November 26th, 2008, 08:43 AM   #1294
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Thai protesters shut down airport

Flights from Thailand's international airport have been suspended after hundreds of anti-government protesters stormed the building in Bangkok.

At least 3,000 passengers are said to be stranded at Suvarnabhumi airport, with all access roads blocked off.

The demonstrators are now reportedly in the control tower, and say airlines must seek their permission to land.

It is the latest move in a campaign by the opposition People's Alliance for Democracy (PAD) to oust the government.

Hundreds of masked demonstrators, carrying huge Thai flags and makeshift weapons, stormed through police lines on Tuesday.

Airport director Serirat Prasutanon said operations had been "totally shut down" since early on Wednesday, and that 78 outbound and incoming flights had been affected.

"We are trying to negotiate with them to allow outgoing passengers stranded by the protest to fly," he was quoted by the Associated Press as saying.

"The incident has damaged Thailand's reputation and its economy beyond repair."

One stranded tourist told the BBC: "I don't know what happened to my flight. They won't talk to us. I'm angry and sad, because I have two small children - they're sick, so we want to go home."

Some British holidaymakers are among those stranded in "no-man's land" at the airport, said a spokesman for the UK Foreign Office.

Having passed through immigration control, they are now stuck without planes to board.

The BBC's Jonathan Head in Bangkok says that shutting down the gateway to Thailand's vital tourist industry is the most dramatic and disruptive action so far by the PAD.

The protest leaders initially hoped to intercept Prime Minister Somchai Wongsawat as he returned from an overseas trip; however his flight will be diverted to another airport.

Now the PAD says it will keep the airport closed until Mr Somchai resigns.

Thinly veiled tactic

There have been a number of small bomb explosions both at the airport and elsewhere in the capital, and about a dozen people have been injured.

Earlier, demonstrations in central Bangkok turned violent, leaving at least 11 people injured.

Thai TPBS television broadcast pictures of the violence on the main road to the capital's old airport. The footage showed shots being fired from a truck into crowds after rocks were thrown.

At least two handguns could be seen and people standing with the gunmen raised up a picture of the revered Thai king, whom the PAD claim to be supporting.

A man was also seized by anti-government supporters and what appeared to be a large knife was held to his throat.

TPBS said its cameraman had been threatened at the scene and that PAD personnel attempted to seize his tape.

On Monday, PAD protesters converged on Bangkok's old Don Muang international airport, from where the cabinet has been operating since its offices were occupied three months ago.

Organisers say the protest is a "final battle" to bring down the government.

Our correspondent says the government appears to have followed a strategy of allowing PAD to attack government buildings while avoiding clashes, in the hope that it will wear the protesters down.

The government has so far resisted calling in the army. Analysts says it is a thinly disguised aim of the PAD to provoke such a move.



video at the link: http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/asia-pacific/7749399.stm
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Old November 26th, 2008, 08:58 AM   #1295
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Lame...
These Thais should NOT interfere with visitor's lives!
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Old November 26th, 2008, 12:15 PM   #1296
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Ridiculous. Hope these PAD people get smashed soon.
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Old November 26th, 2008, 12:34 PM   #1297
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AoT negotiates with protesters to help stranded passengers


SAMUT PRAKAN, Nov 26 (TNA) – The Airports of Thailand (AoT) is trying to negotiate with the anti-government protesters to open the way for passengers, left stranded at Suvarnabhumi Airport to go out to stay at hotel while the airport remains closed.

Passengers stranded since Tuesday night were being evacuated from Suvarnabhumi after anti-government protesters took control of the terminal.

Buses were provided to transport the passengers to other locations. Airport manager Serirat Prasutanon said the main concern now is to find the way to let trapped tourists and passengers out of the airport. Food and drinking water were distributed to trapped passengers and negotiations are under way.

Tourists complained about lack of information and sleepless, after the airport has been seized by the People's Alliance for Democracy (PAD) demonstrators since Tuesday night.

AoT evaluated it would lose about Bt50 million of income for each day the airport is closed.

Meanwhile, Kongkrit Hiranyakit, chairman of the Tourism Council of Thailand said about 60,000 tourists arrival at Suvarnabhumi airport daily.

The council set up an emergency counter there to help trapped passengers and cooperated with its offices in other provinces to facilitate inbound passengers, whose flights were diverted from Suvarnabhumi airport to other international airports, to find accommodation. (TNA)
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Old November 27th, 2008, 05:50 AM   #1298
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Japan Air, Singapore Air Cancel Flights to Bangkok (Update1)

Nov. 27 (Bloomberg) -- Japan Airlines Corp., Singapore Airlines Ltd. and other Asian carriers canceled flights to Bangkok for a second day today after the city's two main airports were shut down due to anti-government protesters.

Japan Airlines, Asia's largest airline by sales, canceled five flights to Bangkok, according to faxed statement from the airline today. Singapore Airlines, the region's most profitable, has suspended all flights to the city until further notice, the carrier said in a statement yesterday.

The Suvarnabhumi and Don Mueang airports that are gateways to Southeast Asia's second-largest economy were shut yesterday after anti-government protesters stormed a terminal and blocked roads leading to the airfields. Thailand Prime Minister Somchai Wongsawat rebuffed a call to step down and hold early elections after the seizure of Bangkok's main international airport.

Somchai returned yesterday to the northern city of Chiang Mai from an overseas trip. He said the government will have a cabinet meeting today to decide on measures to restore order.

Thai Airways International Pcl, the country's largest carrier, suspended all flights from the Don Mueang airport, the carrier said in a statement. Airports of Thailand Pcl shut the facility until 6 p.m. local time today, the carrier said.

The airline yesterday said it loses about 500 million baht ($14 million) in revenue per day from the closure of the Suvarnabhumi airport.

All Nippon Airways Co., Japan's second-largest airline, will make a decision about its evening flight to Bangkok later today, spokesman Kazuo Yoshioka said in a telephone interview today in Tokyo. Tiger Airways Pte, the budget carrier partly owned by Singapore Airlines Ltd., canceled its flights to the Thai capital for a second day today, according to its Web site.

The protests are headed by the People's Alliance for Democracy, a group comprised mostly of the Bangkok middle class, royalists and bureaucrats. Alliance members have blocked roads, seized buildings and wielded guns and metal bars with impunity in protests that started May 25.

To contact the reporters on this story: Chris Cooper in Tokyo at [email protected]

Last Updated: November 26, 2008 20:23 EST

http://www.bloomberg.com/apps/news?p...Ro&refer=japan
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Old November 27th, 2008, 09:27 AM   #1299
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U-Tapao Airport to serve commercial flights instead of Suvarnabhumi


BANGKOK, Nov 27 (TNA) - Thailand's Department of Civil Aviation will issue licenses to all airlines to transport passengers to and from U-Tapao military airport to solve the problem of stranded passengers after the shutdown of Suvarnabhumi Airport by anti government protesters, according to Chaisak Angsuwan, the department's acting director-general.

He said any airline ready to use the facilities at U-Tapao, 140 kilometres southeast of Bangkok, can inform the department directly.

Land facilities for air transport services at U-Tapao Airport will be provided by Thai Airways, the national carrier.

Meanwhile, Muslim pilgrims who want to travel to perform the Haj, or pilgrimage, to Saudi Arabia can leave from U-Tapao as well, he said. The department will also provide transportation from Bangkok to U-Tapao.

Meanwhile, about 400 Muslim pilgrims from Thailand's three southernmost provinces, who have been left stranded at Suvarnabhumi Airport during the PAD takeover, are leaving for U-Tapao to depart for Mecca after being approved by the Department of Civil Aviation. (TNA)
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Old November 27th, 2008, 11:18 AM   #1300
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MAS and AirAsia cancel flights to and from Bangkok
Thursday November 27, 2008

KUALA LUMPUR: Malaysia Airlines (MAS) and AirAsia have cancelled flights into and out of Bangkok after Thai authorities closed Suvarnabhumi International Airport.

MAS operations director Datuk Tajuden Abu Bakar said that as the closure was indefinite, the airline was unable to say when flights would resume.

AirAsia, on its website, said all affected customers would automatically receive a refund via a credit shell.

The statement said the credit shell could be used to redeem a seat on the next available flight to or from Bangkok within three days from the passenger’s original date of travel, subject to the reopening of the airport in Bangkok and availability of seats.

It added that arrangements for the next flight to or from Bangkok must be done at the AirAsia sales counter at the respective airport of departure.

In George Town, Penang Thai Airways International general manager Niruth Sripawatakul said yesterday about 250 passengers who were supposed to board an 8.10am flight were turned back.
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