Northern Thailand’s Chiang Rai Airport to resume flights on Wednesday

Flights in and out of Chiang Rai’s Mae Fah Luang International Airport in northern Thailand are expected to resume as normal on Wednesday, August 3, at 10pm. The runway has been closed since 6am yesterday after a Nok Air Boeing 737-800 aircraft skidded off the runway during landing due to adverse weather conditions on Saturday night. No one was injured.

The plane departed Bangkok’s Don Mueang International Airport at 8:03pm and landed in Chiang Rai at 9:06pm on Saturday. The plane skidded off the runway during landing after continuous heavy rain caused slippery ground conditions. The 164 passengers and six cabin crew aboard the aircraft were unharmed thanks to the pilot’s ability to control and bring the plane to a halt after it came off the runway.

The Civil Aviation Authority of Thailand – or CAAT – classified the incident as “severe” and closed the runway on Sunday morning at 6am investigate the cause. Initially, the airport planned to reopen at 10pm yesterday. However, the airport later released a statement to say the runway would be closed for three days and flights would resume as normal at 10pm on Wednesday, August 3.

Thousands of people were affected by the airport’s closure, which happened during Thailand’s busy four-day long holiday. All passengers planning to fly out of Chiang Rai on Saturday night were put on buses to Chiang Mai International Airport instead, a 3 hour 15 minute drive away.

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Nok Air made a public statement stating that they took good care of all passengers and provided refreshments while transferring them and their luggage to Chiang Mai. However, some passengers took to Facebook to reveal a different side to the story, saying they did not receive any food or drinks throughout the whole ordeal, despite the airline’s claims.

In May, the CAAT reported a “serious incident” in which an AirAsia plane landed on the wrong runway at Bangkok’s Don Mueang Airport. No one was injured but two pilots were temporarily suspended as a result of the incident.


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Leah is a translator and news writer for the Thaiger. Leah studied East Asian Religions and Thai Studies at the University of Leeds and Chiang Mai University. Leah covers crime, politics, environment, human rights, entertainment, travel and culture in Thailand and southeast Asia.

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