Doha, QATAR – Since the closure of Bangkok ’s Suvarnabhumi International Airport, Qatar Airways has laid on several special flights from U-Tapao International Airport, south of the Thai capital, to repatriate passengers stranded in Thailand following the recent political unrest.
Thai authorities have announced that the anti-government protestors have left the airport terminal in Bangkok and that checks are currently being carried out by airport officials to ensure that it is safe for airlines to resume flights in to and out of Suvarnabhumi International Airport.
During the closure of the main international airport in Bangkok, Qatar Airways operated a number of emergency relief flights to U-Tapao, an airport located 140 kilometres from the Thai capital.
Early reports state that Suvarnabhumi International Airport could re-open as early as December 5. Qatar Airways is planning to resume its double-daily service from this date subject to the necessary confirmation from airport officials and the Thai Authorities that it is safe to do so and that the airport is running normal operations.
Until Suvarnabhumi Airport re-opens and the airline is able to resume its double-daily flight to Bangkok, the special schedule will see Qatar Airways flight QR1613 depart U-Tapao International Airport on a daily basis at 1500hrs local time with a scheduled arrival time into Doha International Airport of 1815hrs local time.
Qatar Airways Chief Executive Officer Akbar Al Baker said: “This has been an extremely frustrating time for everyone caught up in and affected by the recent events in Bangkok but early reports indicate that the political unrest in the Thai capital could thankfully be coming to an end.
“We put plans in place to operate special relief flights to pick up passengers from Thailand as soon as the option became available to fly out of U-Tapao International Airport and will resume normal scheduled services as soon as we get confirmation from the Thai authorities that it is fine to do so.”
He added: “Qatar Airways’ priority is always the well-being of its passengers and, as such, the airline is dedicated to continuing to look at all the options available to ensure their speedy and safe repatriation.”
All flight operations, including Qatar Airways’ double-daily scheduled services to and from Bangkok’s Suvarnabhumi International Airport have been suspended since political unrest shook the Thai capital on November 25 when the People's Alliance for Democracy (PAD) took control of the airport.
About Qatar Airways: Doha-based Qatar Airways flies to 83 destinations worldwide with a fleet of 64 aircraft and will operate a fleet of 110 aircraft by 2013 – almost double the existing size. Qatar Airways has ordered 80 Airbus A350s, 60 Boeing 787s and 32 Boeing 777s, with deliveries of the latter having started in November 2007. The airline is one of the customers of the twin-deck Airbus A380 ‘super jumbos’ with five on order and scheduled for delivery from 2012. At the Farnborough Air Show in July, the airline also ordered six Airbus A321s. Qatar Airways is due to move to the New Doha International Airport in 2011, when the first phase of the new facility is scheduled to open. For more information, visit www.ndiaproject.com Qatar Airways is one of only six airlines in the world with a Five Star ranking for service and excellence awarded by Skytrax, the independent aviation industry monitoring agency. Skytrax also named Qatar Airways’ cabin crew as Best in the Middle East for the sixth year running in 2008 and the airline was voted Best in the Middle East for the third year in a row following a survey of more than 15 million passengers worldwide. For more information, log onto www.qatarairways.com
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