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Major international airlines cancel flights to Bangkok due to possible city's closure

January 10, 2014, 11:59 UTC+3 BANGKOK
Singapore Airlines, Hong Kong Airlines and Cathay Pacific have already cancelled the flights to Bangkok on January 13
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BANGKOK, January 10. /ITAR-TASS/. More than 30 flights to the city of Bangkok are cancelled by major world air carriers due to the plans of the opposition to stage a large-scale protest action in the capital of Thailand, Southeast Asia, on January 13 and ‘to close’ the city, the Thai Transport Ministry reported on Friday.

Singapore Airlines, Hong Kong Airlines and Cathay Pacific have already cancelled the flights to Bangkok on January 13, despite the fact that the oppositionists pledged not to hamper the operations of the international airports in the capital of Thailand.

Acting Thai Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra stated that the authorities will give all necessary support to foreign tourists. A hotline will be opened for the travelers to learn how it will be possible to come to the airport, bypassing traffic jams caused by the protesters.

Meanwhile, the passengers can get the information about the current situation in Bangkok at a special information centre at the Suvarnabhumi airport.

The Thai tourism council reported that the losses of the tourism industry in the capital of the kingdom have reached about 18 billion bahts ($545.3 million). According to estimates of experts, the number of tourists visiting Bangkok will go down by 400,000 people. Thai media reported that many charter flights by small business-class private airplanes are also cancelled at the Bangkok airports. Bangkok is traditionally used by the air carriers as one of the key logistic centers in Southeast Asia.

The Russian Foreign Ministry recommends strongly to Russian citizens to refrain from any trips to Bangkok. The Russian ministry has made a statement to this effect on January 9. “Clashes between opposition and pro-government forces are possible. In this regard, we recommend insistently to Russian citizens to refrain from any trips to Bangkok and to the companies hosting our tourists to cancel tours to the Thai capital for a period of possible massive opposition actions,” the ministry reported. “The Russian citizens staying in the city should be cautious, should fulfill all requirements of the law enforcement agencies and avoid gatherings of demonstrators.”


Possible ‘closure’ of Bangkok

On January 13, the opposition forces intend to block the traffic in Bangkok at 20 main crossroads, permitting the traffic only to the ambulances and public transport. Meanwhile, the protesters pledged to cuts electric and water supplies at the main government compounds that they had already done many times.

The opposition plans to hold a protest action under the motto “Close Bangkok” for 20 days.

The authorities pledged that servicemen along with police will enforce the law and order in the city. The government is prepared to introduce a state of emergency in case of acts of sabotage and bloodshed.

The opposition, the ideological hardcore of which are members of the Democratic party, seeks for immediate resignation of acting Prime Minister Shinawatra and the cancellation of early election in the National Assembly, Thailand’s parliament, due on February 2. Despite the boycott of the election declared by the Democrats, a record number of more than 50 parties are running in the election campaign. The attempts of protesters to disrupt the voting, not giving an opportunity to the self-nominees even to register, were successful in 28 constituencies (in eight out of 77 provinces).

Eight people died in massive riots, which have been going on in Bangkok since late October 2013. About 400 people were injured.

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