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Relief for thousands as THAI resumes Europe flights

Thai carrier to now fly over China

After cancelling all of its flights to Europe, Thai Airways has resumed services to the continent. 


Thailand’s national carrier had suspended operations to Europe due to rising tensions in Pakistan and northern India, and the closure of airspace in the region. 


Image Getty


While some carriers - like Singapore Airlines and British Airways - were able to immediately reroute flights away from the affected airspace, THAI had to ground flights as it sought approval to divert services through Chinese airspace. 


With permission now granted, the carrier has continued operations to its European destinations including London, Paris, Frankfurt, Rome, Zurich and Moscow. In a statement, THAI apologised to passengers for any inconvenience caused by the suspensions. 


THAI Vice President, Aviation Safety, Security and Standards Department, Flight Lieutenant Pratana Patanasiri added that the new route over China ensured the highest standard of operational safety. 


Passengers who hold tickets on the cancelled routes are able to change their itineraries without charges. 


“THAI is monitoring the situation closely in order to properly assess the situation,” it said. 


Other carriers, including Emirates and Saudi Arabian Airlines continue to ground Pakistan flights, while Qatar Airways said flights to nearby destinations may still be affected. 


Martin Consulting India founder and CEO Mark Martin told the BBC about 800 flights a day use the India-Pakistan air corridor, making it “very critical”. 


In an email, director Natalie Ball said that while “acts of war” were typically excluded events, “your policy may have some provision for cover if you are stranded as a result of the current India-Pakistan conflict”. 


“A comprehensive policy may cover your additional expenses you have incurred, such as meals and accommodation if you’re delayed for more than a minimum period,” she said.


“Or if you have a planned event to reach, such as a wedding or departing tour, your policy may also cover you for the cost of alternative travel expenses to get to your event on time.”


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Written by: Mark Harada
Published: 1 March 2019

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