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More stranded Russians head home

PHUKET: More Russian tourists stranded in Phuket headed home yesterday evening (May 2) as 220 people boarded a special flight organised by Russian embassy officials in coordination with the Thai Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

By The Phuket News

Sunday 3 May 2020, 07:30AM

The passengers boarded a Ural Airlines Airbus A320, designated flight U63646, reported Airports of Thailand management at Phuket International Airport (AoT Phuket).

According to FlightRadar24, flight was bound for Shymkent in Kazakhstan.

The flight was organised to provide assistance to travellers stuck in Phuket due to the COVID-19 lockdown restrictions, AoT Phuket noted in a post on its official Facebook page.

“Airport staff, immigration officers and airlines staff jointly provided services at the International Passenger Terminal,” the post added.

The first airlift after the airport’s closure was performed by Aeroflot, Russia’s flag carrier in civil aviation, on April 10. An Airbus A330-300 plane departed Phuket at 3.20pm. Ten hours later the plane landed in St Petersburg and after disembarking some of the passengers headed further to Moscow.

A second airlift from Phuket organised by Russian officials on Apr 24 helped 193 stranded tourists to get back to their home country.

Meanwhile, the ban on all inbound international passenger flights into Thailand remains in effect. The ban was introduced on Apr 4 and extended several times, and will remain banned until at least May 31.

Limited domestic flights in Thailand resumed on Friday (May 1), but not to Phuket, where the Governor has extended the “closure” of the airport to all but essential flights until May 15.

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