Thailand extends airspace shut down until the end of April; up to 5,000 Thais stuck abroad

Thailand’s Civil Aviation Authority on Wednesday extended its shutdown of Thai Airspace until the end of April, documents from the body show.

The CAAT ban on incoming flights was due to expire on the 18th of April. Now the new order sees the ban extended until 11:59 pm on the 30th of April.

Under the now-extended order, all commercial flights flying into the country will be banned to help stop the spread of coronavirus. Outbound flights and emergency repatriation flights by foreign countries will still be able to continue.

Exempt from the ban will be emergency landings, state or military aircraft, or humanitarian flights.

Many Thais that were affected by the original ban and were left stranded abroad by the original order will feel aggrieved as they will be unable to return to the country until the order is lifted.

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs said that as many as 5,000 Thais were waiting to return home but were unable due to the ban. The government said it would provide financial assistance to Thais stuck abroad and unable to pay their way, yet no concrete steps have been taken after the announcement.

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