Second group of Thais returns from Sudan on RTAF flight

Thais who were stuck in Sudan made it home, photo via Bangkok Post.

A second group of Thai nationals who were stuck in Sudan have safely made it home. The group of 132 Thai nationals landed on Thai soil after returning from Sudan via a Royal Thai Air Force (RTAF) Airbus A340-500.

The aircraft touched down at Don Mueang’s military airport around 11pm on Saturday, Bangkok Post reported. Three non-Thai individuals also arrived on the same flight; these included one Indonesian and two Chinese nationals, who were members of Thai families.

Foreign Minister Don Pramudwinai, RTAF commander ACM Alongkorn Wannarot, his wife Group Capt. Panprapa Wannarot, and representatives from various agencies greeted the passengers at the air terminal.

Following their arrival, the passengers underwent health examinations conducted by officials from the Public Health Ministry’s Disease Control and Mental Health departments. Their travel documents were checked by immigration officials, and they received briefings on their rights from representatives of the Ministry of Labour and the Ministry of Social Development and Human Security.

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This morning, approximately 40 of the passengers were scheduled to fly on an RTAF C-130 to Bo Thong Airport in Pattani. Subsequently, they were to head towards their homes located in the southern border provinces. Meanwhile, the remaining five Thai nationals in Sudan were reported to be on their way to meet an RTAF team on standby with two C-130 transport planes at King Abdulaziz Airport in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia. Plans were made for them to be flown home tomorrow afternoon, May 1, on a C-130 that was scheduled to return to Thailand.

In a remarkable show of support, the Saudi Arabian government had previously dispatched a warship to evacuate 66 Thais from the Port of Sudan to Jeddah. This was due to the exceedingly long queue for the routine ferry service between Sudan and Saudi Arabia. Additionally, the Saudi Arabian authorities facilitated the transport of 32 Thai nationals from Sudan to Jeddah, accompanying several Saudi government officials on two C-130 flights.

This operation demonstrates the strong bilateral relations between Thailand and Saudi Arabia and highlights the swift efforts of both governments to ensure the safe return of Thai nationals amidst challenging circumstances. The cooperation between the RTAF, the Thai Foreign Ministry, and the corresponding Saudi Arabian agencies played a crucial role in bringing these individuals home and providing much-needed relief to their families.

Thailand News

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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