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Thailand Situation Update As Of November 26 at 20:00 hrs. Bangkok time

Thailand Situation Update As Of November 26 at 20:00 hrs. Bangkok time (Forimmediaterelease.net) Event Timeline:

 November 25, 2008 / 21:00 hrs.
The People’s Alliance for Democracy (PAD) anti-government protesters forced the partial closure of Suvarnabhumi International Airport when demonstrators broke through police lines and entered the departure lounge. Inbound flights were still operating normally with aircraft being cleared for landing.

 November 25, 2008 / 22:00 hrs.
With anti-government protesters having blocked access to the airport via the main motorway and the main entrance, shortly after 21:00 hrs., acting Airports of Thailand (AoT) president and acting Suvarnabhumi Airport director Mr. Serirat Prasutanont announced the cancellation of all flights departing from Suvarnabhumi International Airport. As a result, hundreds of passengers were stranded.

 November 26, 2008 / 04:00 hrs.
All inbound and outbound flights from Suvarnabhumi International Airport were cancelled from 04:00 hrs. (21:00 GMT Tuesday).

 For security reasons Suvarnabhumi International Airport will be closed from Tuesday, November 25, 21:00 hrs. onwards until further notice. The airport authorities have been negotiating with anti-government protesters to move their political rally to an alternative protest site to enable airport operations to resume as soon as possible.

 November 26, 2008/ 08:00 hrs
Thai Airways International (TG) announced that a total of 16 flights would be diverted to land at Don Muang International Airport, while another three flights: TG508/Muscat-Karachi-Bangkok, TG520/Kuwait-Dubai-Bangkok, and TG 941/Milan-Bangkok, would be diverted to land at U-Tapao Airport. All of THAI’s inbound and outbound flights from Suvarnabhumi International Airport are temporarily suspended until it resumes normal operations.

 THAI’s domestic flights, inbound and outbound from Don Muang International Airport, as well as the airport itself are operating normally.

 Chiang Mai International Airport, Phuket International Airport, Chiang Rai International Airport, Hat Yai International Airport, Khon Kaen Airport, Krabi Airport, Phitsanulok Airport, Samui Airport, Sukhothai Airport, Surat Thani Airport, Ubon Ratchathani Airport, and Udon Thani International Airport are all operating normally.

 At Hat Yai International Airport, Thai Airways and Nok Air are still operating normally from Hat Yai International Airport to Don Muang International Airport. Five flights of Thai Air Asia from Hat Yai International Airport have been cancelled.

 There has been no declaration of a State of Emergency.

 TAT is cooperating with the Thai Hotels Association (THA), Association of Thai Travel Agents (ATTA), AOT Airports of Thailand Public Co., Ltd., and Thai Airways (TG) to set up a Crisis Networking Center on the fourth floor of the departure terminal in Suvarnabhumi International Airport in order to facilitate the stranded passengers and tourists until the airport resumes normal operations. The airport authority has moved the stranded passengers to the hotels.

 The Deputy Governor for domestic marketing Mr. Vunsadej Thavarasukha, has ordered the 35 TAT local offices to facilitate tourists traveling at the various tourist destinations in Thailand, as well as those who are waiting for flights at provincial airports.

 14:00 hrs: THAI’s Head Office: ACM Narongsak Sangapong, executive vice president, corporate secretariat eepartment, acting president of Thai Airways International Public Company Limited, chaired a press conference to announce temporary changes to THAI’s flight schedule due to current political protests taking place in Thailand’s international airport.

 The following measures were set up by THAI to facilitate its passengers traveling to Thailand:

1. THAI will re-route passengers to their intended final destinations, bypassing Bangkok.

2. There will be refund fee waiver for passengers who no longer wish to travel on THAI.

 15:00 hrs: TAT, in cooperation with the Thai Hotels Association (THA) and Association of Thai Travel Agents (ATTA), transferred the remaining stranded passengers to the following hotels: Novotel Suvarnabhumi Airport, Sol Twin Towers, and Ibis Ramkhamhaeng. Accommodation and all meals are being provided.

 17:00 hrs: Thai Army Chief, General Anupong Paochinda, called an urgent meeting with the high executive private sector and governmental agencies to solve the problem of the standoff at Suvarnabhumi International Airport. Following this, he called a press conference in which he suggested a cabinet dissolution, as well as requested that PAD leave the airport.

 20:30 hrs: There was a rumor that the Prime Minister would be arriving at Don Muang International Airport. As such, some members of the PAD went to the airport, after which they had hoped to pressure him to resign. At this point in time, this is not having an effect on inbound and outbound flights from the airport.

For more information, please contact the following numbers:

 Don Muang Airport: 02-535-1669 / 02-535-1616
Public Relations: 02-535-1253
TG Flight Information: 02-356-1111
www.thaiairways.com
Bangkok Airways: 02-265-5678
www.bangkokairways.com
Hot Line Bangkok Airways: 1771
Nok Air: 02-627-2000
Air Asia: 02-515-9999
www.airasia.com

 Suvarnabhumi International Airport: 02-132-1888 / 02-132-1882
Flight Information: 02-132-000 / 02-132-9328-9
Security Center: 02-132-4310 / 02-132-4000
02-535-1669

 Ministry of Foreign Affairs
Emergency Center (24 Hours): 02-643-5522
Fax: 02-643-5521

o Hot Line Tourist Police: 1155

o Tourism Intelligence Unit and
Crisis Management Centre (TIC): 02-652-8313-4
Fax: 02-652-8315

International Public Relations Division Tel: 66 2 250 5500 ext. 4545-48 Fax: 66 253 7419 E-mail: prdiv3@tat.or.th www.tatnews.org

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