Santi Pawai, director of the Phuket Tourism and Sports Office, said this morning that arrangements had been made with a small Bangkok-based charter airline, R Airlines, to come to Phuket and fly the stranded Chinese out in two loads, one at 12.55pm and the other at 5:25pm.
However, the Chinese are still not yet home free.
Mr Santi explained that under the arrangements made by the Ministry of Transport and the Ministry of Tourism & Sports, the holidaymakers will be flown only as far as Don Meuang Airport in Bangkok.
Once they are there, City Airways, which was unable to fly them direct from Phuket to Hong Kong because one of its aircraft broke down, will be responsible for making arrangements to get them home.
If it cannot do so immediately, Mr Santi added, City Airways will have to pay to put them up in the Ramada Garden Inn in Bangkok, which has already been booked.