Airlines mount rescue flights to Bangkok

28 Nov 2008

Several airlines have launched rescue flights to Bangkok to pick up stranded crewmembers and passengers. All the rescue flights are using U-Tapao Airport, about two hours’ drive from the Thai capital.

Using a Boeing 777-300 aircraft, Cathay Pacific has a scheduled round-trip flight tomorrow morning (November 28). The plane will take off from Hongkong at 0800 and will make the return trip at 1200. The airline made its first rescue flight today.

Priority boarding will be given to passengers with valid Cathay Pacific tickets from Hongkong to Bangkok, for whom there will be no charge.  Those holding valid return tickets from other airlines will be charged HK$1,100, while those with no ticket at all will need to pay the full fare for the journey.

Passengers wanting to take the CX rescue flight from Hongkong can contact the special reservations hotline at +852 2747 6347. The hotlines for passengers who wish to take the flight from U-Tapao are as follows: +662 2630 623, +662 2630 644 and +662 2630 664

Meanwhile, AirAsia also launched a rescue flight to Bangkok this afternoon via Kuala Lumpur. Flight AK886D left Malaysian capital for U-Tapao Airport at 1625 local time. The return flight on AAK887D took off from U-Tapao Airport at 1800.

As of press time, AirAsia cannot confirm if a second trip needs to be made to pick up remaining passengers.

According to June Chow, part of AirAsia’s corporate commuications team: ” We still don’t know the numbers of passengers left and if it warrants a second trip. It won’t be feasible to send a whole aircraft over to pick up four or five passengers.”

Jetstar Asia, on the other hand, has resumed its scheduled services between Singapore and Bangkok tonight. The airline will be landing and departing from U-Tapao Airport until further notice.

A spokesperson for Jetstar Asia said: “So far, we have confirmed 173 passengers on the tonight’s flight back to Singapore.”

Jetstar staff have been contacting passengers to let them know that only those who have confirmed reservations will get on the flights and passengers wanting to book should contact the 24 hours call centre at:  800 6161 977 and 1800 611 2957.

Peter Rajendran

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