KOH SAMUI’S air and sea access will begin to operate again, with the last backlog of stranded air passengers expected to be cleared within the morning.
Bangkok Airways, which operates the largest number of daily flights to and from Koh Samui, said there were about 80 passengers who remained today. Thirty-six flights on Monday and 54 flights on Tuesday were cancelled due to bad weather that left about 2,000 passengers stranded. The airline resumed operations yesterday with 38 flights, including six special flights, between Bangkok and Koh Samui.
Thai Airways International also resumed its twice-daily Bangkok-Koh Samui flights yesterday and added one extra return flight to help clear its own backlog of 600 passengers.
Both airlines are expected to resume normal operations today. Bangkok Airways will operate 56 flights, or at its normal daily capacity, including 33 flights on the Bangkok-Koh Samui service and a daily flight each on the Koh Samui-Hong Kong and Koh Samui-Singapore routes.
Some ferry services from Koh Samui to the mainland’s pier in Surat Thani have also resumed since late afternoon yesterday, said Saiphayom Somsuk, chief of Koh Samui Tourism Coordination Centre, Tourism Authority of Thailand.
She said tourists could continue their journey to Bangkok by air at Surat Thani Airport, which also resumed operations yesterday, or by road, which is almost back to normal conditions. However, rail service remains closed.
Saiphayom added that more ferry and katamaran services would be operated today from Koh Samui, Koh Phangan and Koh Tao to Surat Thani and Chumphon on the mainland, though these would not be running at the normal capacity.
By Sirima Eamtako