Survarnabhumi Airport had been closed for eight days

December 2nd, 2008 - 12:49 pm ICT by Amrit Rashmisrisethi  

Suvarnabhumi AirportAccording to an official, they said that the Thailand’s main airport will take at least a week to re-operate once a sit-in by anti-government protesters ends. As the entire attention is shifted to a court verdict that could end the crisis.

The general manager of Suvarnabhumi airport said it could take a week to resume operations because security and computer systems had been compromised during the blockade by People’s Alliance for Democracy (PAD) protesters.

Yesterday, was the seventh day of the PAD protestors occupying the Suvarnabhumi Airport. In a campaign to topple Prime Minister Somchai Wongsawat, whom they accuse of being a pawn for his brother-in-law, former premier Thaksin Shinawatra, ousted in a 2006 coup and exiled since. Due to the cause, ample amount of foreigners have been in Thailand or are unable to even begin their holidays during what should be the peak tourist season. Even the air cargo industry is at a pause including the main domestic hub “Don Muang” is also occupied.

Yesterday, PAD officials said they would allow 88 aircraft stuck at Suvarnabhumi to leave.

However, The chaos has worried Thailand’s neighbours, due to meet in two weeks for a regional summit. Surin Pitsuwan, head of Southeast Asia’s 10-nation grouping, ASEAN, said a postponement might be wise.

Forecasts for an economy already suffering from the global financial crisis are grim.

Thailand’s Board of Trade director said the cost of the airport closure was ‘incalculable”, but a senior board member offered a figure, telling the Nation newspaper lost export earnings ran at around 3 billion baht (S$129.3 million) a day.

Mr Somchai has been in the north of the country since returning from an overseas trip last week but is supposed to attend a ceremony to mark the king’s birthday in Bangkok on Tuesday.

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