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Airline strands 300 Chinese tourists at Phuket Airport

PHUKET: Three hundred Chinese holidaymakers have been stranded in Phuket since Sunday (August 9) when the charter aircraft that was supposed to pick them up broke down in Bangkok.

By Darawan Naknakhon

Tuesday 12 August 2014, 05:43PM

The aircraft is operated by City Airways, a small airline owned by a group of Thai, Chinese and Hong Kong investors.

Thai Civil Aviation Department Director General Woradet Hanprasert was quoted as saying that the airline had notified by his office not to use the malfunctioning aircraft to pick up the stranded passengers.

Alerted by the director of the Phuket Tourism & Sports office, Santi Pawai, the recently appointed Chinese Consul in Phuket, Wang Huijuan, is now in discussions with the airline.

“I am trying my best,” Ms Wang told The Phuket News. "We are already cooperating with the airline with the aim of getting these people home as soon as possible. We hope they can be patient for a few days while we sort this out.

QSI International School Phuket

"We understand there are two problems – a technical problem with the aircraft, and also some missing documents.”

Two hundred of the passengers have been put up in hotels in Phuket at the airline’s expense, and are going on free tours while the airline tries to sort out the problem. Another 100 are still at the airport hoping to be on the first available flight out.

All 300 were originally due to fly out direct to Hong Kong between Sunday and today (August 12).

City Airways' first flight took place in October 2012, the start of a charter service between Hong Kong and Bangkok, using a 170-seat Boeing 737-400 aircraft. It now has five of these aircraft, and operates between Bangkok and Hong Kong, Nanjing and Nanchang, along with direct daily flights between Phuket and Hong Kong.



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