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ASIA:Bangkok airport to resume normal operation Friday: official

04 Dec 2008 3:21 PM

BANGKOK, Dec 4 AFP - Bangkok's international airport will resume normal operations from Friday after anti-government protesters lifted a blockade, a spokeswoman said as more flights left the terminal.

More than 40 flights were set to leave Suvarnabhumi Airport on Thursday morning, although passengers must still check in at a downtown Bangkok conference centre for the rest of the day.

The first flights for eight days took off from the airport on Wednesday after demonstrators abandoned their vigil in the wake of a court verdict that stripped the prime minister of his post and disbanded the ruling party.

"We have set 11am (1500 AEDT) as the time we will return to normal operations at Suvarnabhumi," a spokeswoman for the country's airport agency said.

On Thursday morning Thai Airways was operating 24 international flights while private-run Bangkok Airways was sending 18 flight plans for both domestic and international routes.

"At this moment outbound passengers still have to check in at Bitec (conference centre) or at airline offices, but inbound passengers are being fully processed through customs and immigration at Suvarnabhumi," she said.

The smaller Don Mueang domestic airport, which was also occupied by protesters, meanwhile quickly returned to full operations on Thursday with two domestic flights departing at 6am.

"There are 56 flights taking off and landing here today, the situation has returned to normal now," said Anirut Thanomkulbutra, the airport's director.