Thailand has been elated to finally welcome tourists - mostly - but now, in the wake of the pandemic, a new threat to tourism has emerged. The Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) said it expects a normally profitable third quarter to be marred by flooding in 21 provinces in Thailand. The flooding is expected to particularly affect corporate travel.
The plane took off from Bangkok's Don Muang International Airport at 20:03 and landed in Chiang Rai at 21:06 on Saturday. The plane skidded off the runway during landing due to incessant heavy rain that made the ground slippery. The 164 passengers and six flight attendants on board the aircraft were not injured due to the pilot's ability to control and stop the aircraft after it left the runway.
The Civil Aviation Authority of Thailand, or CAAT, classified the incident as "serious" and closed the runway at 6 a.m. Sunday to investigate the cause. The airport was originally supposed to open yesterday at 22:00. However, the airport later released a statement that the runway would be closed for three days and flights would resume as normal at 10 p.m. on Wednesday 3 August.
Thousands of people have been affected by the airport closure during a busy four-day holiday in Thailand. All passengers who had planned to fly out of Chiang Rai on Saturday evening were instead put on buses to Chiang Mai International Airport, which is 3 hours and 15 minutes away.
Nok Air has made a public statement that they have taken good care of all passengers and treated them well during the transfer of them and their luggage to Chiang Mai. However, some passengers have taken to Facebook to reveal the other side of the story, saying they were not given food or drink throughout the entire ordeal, despite the airline's claims.
In May, CAAT reported a "serious incident" when an AirAsia plane landed on the wrong runway at Bangkok's Don Muang Airport. No one was injured in the incident, but two pilots were temporarily suspended from flying.