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Military aircraft to fly M’sians back from Bangkok

BANGKOK, 28 Nov 2008: The Malaysian embassy in Bangkok is arranging a special military flight to fly Malaysians back from the Thai capital following the closure of the Suvarnabhumi and Don Muang airports by anti-government protesters since Monday.

An embassy official said since the seats were limited, those who could afford it should fly commercial.

“For the special military flight, all Malaysians in need are advised to call the embassy’s hotline number for the latest information and coordination. We will inform them soon about the departure of the military aircraft,” he said.

In view of the uncertainty in Bangkok, the embassy has opened a round-the-clock operations room. The numbers to contact are (+66) 2629 6808 or (+66) 2629 6800 ext 4106.

The official said those with Malaysia Airlines (MAS) tickets should contact the airline as it would operate a flight from Kuala Lumpur to Utapao, near Pattaya, on Friday to bring back hundreds of its passengers stranded in Bangkok.

MAS area manager for Thailand, A Vijayakumaran, said two more flights would be operated on Saturday, using the Airbus aircraft with passenger capacity for 290 people, compared with the normal capacity of 144.

Thailand’s Department of Civil Aviation has agreed to allow airlines to use the airport, which is located about 140km from Bangkok, following the closure of the Suvarnabhumi and Don Muang airports.

Vijayakumaran said the MH782 flight on Friday would leave Kuala Lumpur at 3.15pm and arrive here at 4.20pm (Thai time), before the return MH783 departs at 5.10pm and lands in KLIA at 8.15pm.

On Saturday, MAS will operate two flights, starting with MH784 at 9.10am which arrives here at 10.15am (Thai time), and departing (MH785) Utapao at 11.10am.

The second flight (MH788) will depart KLIA at 12.25pm and arrive at 1.30pm while the return flight (MH789) is scheduled to leave at 2.15pm (Thai time) and arrive at KLIA at 5.25pm.

For enquiries, passengers can call the MAS office in Bangkok at (+66) 2263 0572 or (+66) 2263 0565 up to 71 (hunting line), as well as MAS’s 24-hour call centre at 1-300-88-3000 in Malaysia. — Bernama

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