SAS to collect Thailand tourists

SAS to collect Thailand tourists
Photo: Johan Nilsson/Scanpix
Scandinavian airline SAS announced on Saturday plans to send an aircraft to collect stranded Swedish passengers in Thailand.

The Airbus A340-400 has space for 245 passengers and will depart from Stockholm Arlanda airport at 8.20pm on Saturday. It is scheduled to land at the U-Tapao military airport outside of Bangkok, according to a company press release.

“We are pleased to be able to start operating flights to and from Thailand in order to get our customers home,” said Lars Sandahl Sörensen, CEO, Scandinavian Airlines International.

The SAS CEO will himself join the flight as he is one of those stranded in Thailand.

“We regret the inconvenience this has caused our passengers, and we have done everything possible to take the best care of those affected here in Bangkok.”

SAS has been obliged to begin using U-Tapao as the main commercial Bangkok Suvarnabhumi Airport remains closed and under siege from protesters demanding an end to what they consider a puppet parliamentary regime in the troubled far-eastern country.

SAS has previously expressed scepticism towards using the airport.

“We wanted to ensure that it could meet the standards we require. They have now managed to get everything in place,” said Anders Lindström at SAS to news agency TT.

SAS plans to continue to use the U-Tapao airport, until such time as the situation in Bangkok stabilizes. The airline has kept one aircraft at Suvarnabhumi Airport which aims to operate to Copenhagen as soon as the airport re-opens.