This month the amazing Loi Krathong Festival will be celebrated in Thailand and in some regions of the country this includes sending the famous sky lantern up in the air. This forces the closure of airspace in the effected area.
Chiang Mai airport in Northern Thailand, the most famous area to celebrate the festival, will close it’s airport operations and the airspace in the region during the evening when lanterns are going up.
This happens every year but it’s still an important reminder because the domestic airlines Thai Airways and Bangkok Airways (as well as some of the Budget Airlines) and International Carriers flying into Chiang Mai will be effected and might change or cancel flights to avoid the evening hours.
ABC News via AP’s Bangkok Office (access here) had a short report on it today.
Two airports in northern Thailand, Chiang Mai & Chiang Rai, said Wednesday that nearly 150 flights will be canceled or rescheduled during a three-day festival next week when revelers launch lanterns into the sky that can pose danger to airplanes.
The cancellations will affect evening flights from Nov. 24-26, when Thailand celebrates the Loy Kratong festival.
Chiang Mai International Airport, the main airport in northern Thailand, said in a statement that it will cancel 84 flights, including 12 to international destinations, during the three-day festival period. It will also reschedule 51 flights.
Chiang Rai International Airport plans to cancel six flights and reschedule five during the same period.
If you have flights booked during that period you might want to check with your operating airline ahead of time to make sure the flights operates as scheduled or if you need a rebooking.
Should you visit either of the cities for the festival, please observe the following:
The Chiang Mai airport urged revelers to respect a city regulation that residents from five districts surrounding the airport can only release lanterns on Nov. 25 after 9 p.m.
Officials will be assigned to monitor the runways to remove any lanterns, the statement said. During last year’s festival period, 142 lanterns landed on the runway, down from 1,414 in 2013, thanks to awareness campaigns.
Popular Boutique Airline Bangkok Airways has published an announcement regarding the changes here.
There was no news release as of now from Thai Airways, you might want to check back with them.
I have been to Chiang Mai 2 years ago and it was a fantastic experience. Unfortunately this year I will miss it because I’m in Europe at the moment but all of you visiting Thailand next week will have the unique opportunity to celebrate this festival. Should you be in Bangkok and find time to go up north during the time flights operate it is absolutely worth to go up there, tickets are very cheap!