Myanmar requests Thai clearance for evacuation flights

The Government of Myanmar recently filed a request with the Thai Ministry of Foreign Affairs, seeking clearance for evacuation flights to land in the Mae Sot district of Tak. The motive behind this request is the evacuation of 617 military officers and their dependents, who are expected to flee Myawaddy, a city now under the control of rebel ethnic forces.

The request was submitted last night, seeking permission for flights from Sunday to Tuesday, April 9. Despite the urgency, a Myanmar Airways ATR 72-600 aircraft, which landed in Mae Sot at 9.20pm yesterday, April 7, returned empty after waiting for approximately an hour without any refugees arriving.

The situation escalated due to reports of Myanmar officials and their dependents being held at Shwe Kokko by ethnic troops. However, despite the increasing tensions, the Myawaddy-Mae Sot border crossing operated normally today.

Major General Narongrit Panikabut, from the 4th Infantry Division, confirmed this development today. He stated that the Myanmar government had requested assistance to transport vulnerable individuals and crucial documents out of Myawaddy.

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Deputy Foreign Minister, Jakkapong Sangmanee also commented on the situation via social media. He confirmed that Myanmar had requested permission for a civilian plane to land, with the aim of evacuating civilians and their belongings. He added that such diplomatic requests for the transportation of diplomatic materials are customary procedures in these situations, reported Bangkok Post.

In related news, Discounted domestic flights for Songkran announced by CAAT, the Civil Aviation Authority of Thailand (CAAT) announced that a discount of roughly 20% will be applied to early morning and late-night domestic flights during the Songkran holiday.

This move is aimed at providing an economical travel option for all holidaymakers. It was disclosed today, March 11, that the initiative is in response to the call by Transport Minister Suriya Juangruangreangkit for reduced airfares during holidays and during festive periods.

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Mitch Connor

Mitch is a Bangkok resident, having relocated from Southern California, via Florida in 2022. He studied journalism before dropping out of college to teach English in South America. After returning to the US, he spent 4 years working for various online publishers before moving to Thailand.

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