Hundreds of passengers were left looking for alternate
travel plans in Phnom Penh and Siem Reap
Wednesday, after protests in Bangkok
closed an international airport.
Flights for Bangkok Airways, Thai Airways and Asia Air were
canceled Wednesday morning, and passengers were given the chance for refunds to
purchase other tickets out or were allowed to change their flight dates.
The cancellations followed the closure of Thailand’s Don
Muang and Suvarnabhumi airports Tuesday, after pro-opposition protesters
stormed their terminals in a bid to unseat the ruling government.
“The flights to Bangkok
were temporarily delayed indefinitely, because of the anti-Thai protesters
occupying the airports of Don Muang and suvarnabhumi,” Leang Preng, a spokesman
for Thai Airways, said.
Thai Airways typically has four flights a day to Bangkok, two from Phnom
Penh and two from Siem Reap.
Each flight has up to 170 passengers, Leang Preng said.
“I not only missed my flight, but I’m missing my job,” Long
Remy, a Cambodian-French citizen, said at Phnom Penh International
Airport Wednesday. “I
have to work on Friday, and I cannot leave my job.”
He was visiting his family in Cambodia and hoped to fly via
Korean Air on Thursday.
Pen Samnang, a resident of Australia,
said he would seek a refund and fly by Singapore’s Silk Air.
“I have a lot of jobs in Australia, and I have booked hotels
for them,” he said.
“We are concerned that the delay of the flight to Bangkok will affect tourism to Phnom Penh and Siem Reap,”general director of
Cambodian Civil Aviation. “The flights from Bangkok
to Phnom Penh
are four flights, and to Siem Reap are five flights. Some flights between 70
seats for a small plane and more than 100 seats for a big plane.”
Hopefully tourists will change their transit destination
away from Thailand, through Vietnam, Singapore
for example, he said.