x Abu Dhabi, UAEFriday 19 January 2018

Thailand's main airport fully reopened

Bangkok airport officially resumes full operations two days after anti-government protesters ended their paralysing blockade.

Thailand's main international airport officially resumed full operations on today, two days after anti-government protesters ended their paralysing blockade, an airport spokeswoman said. Although flights began leaving Suvarnabhumi international airport on Wednesday hours after protesters packed up and left, passengers were still having to check-in at a convention centre east of Bangkok. "Suvarnabhumi has officially resumed operations. All of the staff here are so happy to return to work," the Airports of Thailand spokeswoman said.

"Thai Airways TG971 bound for Moscow officially marked the full and smooth resumption of the airport." A week earlier, thousands of protesters from the so-called People's Alliance for Democracy (PAD) were setting up food stalls, tents and stages inside the futuristic steel-and-glass terminal. The PAD shuttered Suvarnabhumi and the smaller Don Mueang domestic hub last week in their efforts to force out the government elected almost one year ago.

They abandoned their crippling sieges after a court on Tuesday dissolved the ruling party and forced premier Somchai Wongsawat out of office. The blockades left an estimated 350,000 travellers stranded, and was a huge blow to Thailand's booming tourist industry. *AFP