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THOUSANDS STRANDED AT BKK AS PAKISTAN SHUTS AIRSPACE

THOUSANDS STRANDED AT BKK AS PAKISTAN SHUTS AIRSPACE

Thousands of passengers were stranded at Suvarnabhumi International Airport on Wednesday night after Pakistan shut its airspace following the escalation of conflict with India.

The airport said about 5,000 passengers were affected as various airlines canceled flights along several routes that overfly Pakistan, including to Europe. Thai Airways on Thursday morning said it had rerouted all European flights over China and were operating normally.

The airline said its flights to and from Lahore, Pakistan, will remain canceled today, adding that it had been informed Pakistan might reopen its airspace at 5am tomorrow.

Last night, the national airline canceled 11 of its European routes and all flights to Pakistan, affecting more than 800 passengers. Thai Airways said it would waive fees for those who need to change their flights. It advised customers to contact its call center at 02-356-1111 at all hours for more information.

The airport said it would do its best to accommodate all passengers and keep them updated about the situation.

The Tourism Ministry said it had asked the tourism industry association to compile a list of all hotels near the airport to offer special rates and free shuttle services for stranded passengers.

Pakistan said Wednesday it shot down two Indian war planes crossing over the dispute territory of Kashmir and captured an Indian pilot. The incident happened hours after Pakistan said Indian troops had fired artillery near the frontier, killing six Pakistanis.

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