Bangkok’s International Airport re-opens.
Friday saw the official re-opening of Bangkok’s international airport with people dancing, singing and celebrating all through the night. Thailand's main international airport was shut down for a week by anti-government protesters and is now returning to normal.
On Friday, Suvarnabhumi International Airport was only operating at only around 50 percent capacity and many flights had been cancelled. The travelers nightmare began on November 25 when the first of Bangkok's two airports was forced to close by the anti-government group who wanted to get rid of the prime minister with allegations of corruption.
The closure stranded more than 300,000 visitors and affected hundreds of flights that had to be cancelled causing damage to the country's economy, which is dependant on tourism. The domestic Don Muang airport was open again on Thursday.
547 flights were scheduled to arrive and depart Friday at Suvarnabhumi, mostly these were Thai Airways, Bangkok Airways and the budget carrier Thai Air Asia flights. Singapore and Emirates also recommenced flights.
It is expected to take up to a week before everything is running again smoothly and operations are returned to normal with flight schedules running on time.
Travellers were treated like VIPs when they arrived at Suvarnabhumi on Friday, welcomed by traditional Thai dancers and flight attendants bearing gifts of flower bracelets and tiny Thai masks. Traditional Thai music was played throughout the terminal and refreshments were offered to the tired travelers.
Some travelers received a personal apology from airport officials and Tourism Authority of Thailand Governor Phornsiri Manoharn.
Most travellers seem to have taken the whole situation in their stride, praising the kindness of Thais and the way they were so apologetic for the disruptions.
Diplomats from the European Union and six governments including the United States said they were "seriously concerned" that the airport continued to be "vulnerable to outside assaults."
"We urge the government of Thailand to take all necessary measures to improve the protection and security of all Thai airports, so as to avoid the recurrence of a similar seizure in the future," they stated.