330 stranded Belgians register in Bangkok
Foreign Affairs estimates that the total number of Belgians in Thailand at the moment, "Possibly two or three times higher."
1 December 2008
Some 330 Belgians, stranded by the blockade of the two largest airports in the Thai capital Bangkok, have registered with the Belgian embassy. Foreign Affairs estimates that the total number of Belgians in Thailand at the moment is much higher, "Possibly two or three times higher," says spokesman Bart Ouvry.
The occupation of Bangkok's international airport started last Tuesday night and the crisis worsened as the Don Muang domestic airport, which had been receiving some diverted flights from Suvarnabhumi, the international airport, was also shut down.
According to Bart Ouvry it is not yet possible to organise extra flights to Thailand to pick up the stranded people. "We are in constant contact with the travel organisations that have people in Thailand. It seems there is a shortage of landing capacity in Thailand."
Foreign Affairs is still advising people not to travel to Thailand because it is unclear how the situation will evolve.
The Spanish Foreign Ministry was able to organise extra flights to pick up travellers. "The difference is that there are no direct flights to Bangkok from Belgium - only charger flights," says the spokesman for the ministry of foreign affairs.
The Belgians are returning in small groups from Thailand, via other European airports. Some are also departing from airports in Thailand's neighbouring countries.
Thousands of foreign tourists were stranded
Thousands of tourists are unable to leave Thailand. The two airports in the capital Bangkok are being blocked by protesters who are demanding the resignation of Prime Minister Somchai Wongsawat.