Phuket flight fiasco: Downpour delays leave one still in the clouds

Image courtesy of Phuket News

Phuket International Airport confirmed that only one of the 17 flights delayed by yesterday’s downpours has yet to complete its journey.

To mitigate any dangers posed by landing in intense weather conditions, inbound flights were diverted to Don Mueang and Suvarnabhumi International Airports, as well as airports in Krabi, Langkawi, Penang, and Surat Thani as pilots had no vision of the runway. Phuket Airport Director Monchai Tanode explained that the heavy rain severely affected visibility.

Four outbound domestic flights were also unable to depart from Phuket Airport during the same period as they awaited passengers from the delayed incoming flights.

Flights QR842, EY430, TR658, G9687, and FD3029 were among those diverted to Krabi. Other diverted flights included FD3001 to Surat Thani, WY833 to Langkawi, C8771 to Don Mueang, SU274 and VZ314 to Suvarnabhumi, and AI378 to Penang, according to a report by the Bangkok Post.

Phuket Airport resumed operations at 10.04am after visibility improved, as stated by Monchai in a notice posted on the Airports of Thailand Phuket branch (AoT Phuket) official Facebook page. He also confirmed that the airport itself had not experienced flooding.

In a notice posted at 7.51pm last night, AoT Phuket confirmed that 16 out of a total of 17 flights have returned to the airport, with only one flight remaining to resume its journey.

The remaining flight, SU274/275 from Moscow to Phuket, made a diversion to Suvarnabhumi Airport in the extreme weather and was scheduled to fly to Phuket today. AoT Phuket revealed that the flight crew had to delay resuming their journey back to Phuket due to crew rest requirements, reported The Phuket News.

In related news, heavy rainfall in Phuket disrupted flights and caused widespread flooding across the tourist island province. Starting at 7am, yesterday, June 30, persistent rain forced the diversion of around 10 inbound flights to other airports, including Don Mueang, Suvarnabhumi, Krabi, Langkawi, Penang, and Surat Thani. The heavy downpour reduced visibility, making it impossible for pilots to see the runway, according to Phuket Airport director Monchai Tanode.

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Ryan Turner

Ryan is a journalism student from Mahidol University with a passion for history, writing and delivering news content with a rich storytelling narrative.

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