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Hundreds of Thais stranded in New Zealand, denied boarding without documentation

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PHOTO: New Zealand Herald

A Facebook post from a Thai Airways aircrew says hundreds of desperate Thais are trapped in New Zealand, denied boarding on a Bangkok-bound flight as they couldn’t provide the mandatory “fit-to-fly” letter now required of Thai nationals, and proof of residency once in Thailand. Aaron Puranasamriddhi (known online as Krissanarat) called on the Civil Aviation Authority of Thailand to sort out the problems as a matter of urgency.

Due to the Covid-19 coronavirus pandemic, Thais need the documentation to get on planes heading home, including a “Fit to Fly” Health Certificate and a letter from a Thai embassy or consulate where they are announcing their intention to return home.

Many people are unable to get this documentation.

The post said that of the 280 people trying to board Thai flight TG492 from Auckland to Bangkok, only six were allowed to do so as they were the only ones with the required documentation.

Some 274 people were arguing to be allowed to board but were left stranded at the airport, according to the post.

 

 

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Jack Burton is an American writer, broadcaster, linguist and journalist who has lived in Asia since 1987. A native of the state of Georgia, he attended the The University of Georgia's Henry Grady School of Journalism, which hands out journalism's prestigious Peabody Awards. His works have appeared in The China Post, The South China Morning Post, The International Herald Tribune and many magazines throughout Asia and the world. He is fluent in Mandarin and has appeared on television and radio for decades in Taiwan, Mainland China, Hong Kong and Macau.

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