BANGKOK — The civil aviation regulator on Thursday said no Thais were on two China-Thailand flights that were said to carry passengers with coronavirus.
Civil Aviation Authority of Thailand director Chula Sukmanop said the two flights, identified by the Chinese authorities as Thai Lion Air’s SL117 and Thai AirAsia X’s XJ808, did land in Bangkok on July 7 and July 10 respectively for a refueling stop, but no one was allowed to leave or board the aircraft.
“Although the flights were operated by Thai air carriers, they were not directly involved with Thailand,” Chula said.
The Thai Lion Air’s Bangkok-Guangzhou flight and the Thai AirAsia X’s Bangkok-Tianjin flights were banned from entering China for one week after 11 passengers tested positive for COVID-19, according to a statement by China’s aviation regulator.
Chula said the Thai Lion Air’s and the Thai AirAsia X’s flights were chartered by Chinese from Jakata, Indonesia and Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia respectively.
They had to land via Bangkok since China would only allow flights which had previously served that route to fly into the country, he added.
“There’s nothing much to be concerned about,” Chula said. “It’s only a short-term suspension on those particular flights. Other flights can still fly into China.”
In the wake of the incident, the Civil Aviation Authority of Thailand also announced that passengers on a flight via the Kingdom will be required to present a virus-free certificate before boarding, even if they’re not disembarking in the country.