1,500 stranded at Ubon airport due to strong winds

In an image taken from a video clip on Monday, passengers throng Ubon Ratchathani airport after six flights were cancelled due to strong winds.

UBON RATCHATHANI: More than 1,000 passengers were stranded at Ubon Ratchathani airport for almost six hours on Monday after planes could not land due to strong winds.

Wind speed exceeds standards, says Kittichai Sujjalak, general manager of Ubon Ratchathani airport.

Some 1,500 people waited at the airport to leave for Bangkok at 4pm after six flights were cancelled from 11.15am.

At 4.50pm, a Nok Air flight was able to land at the airport and flew back to Don Mueang 50 minutes later. 

Airlines informed their passengers the delay was caused by strong winds.

Airport general manager Kittichai Sujjalak said the wind on the taxiway made it impossible to land, causing many flights to divert to nearby airports such as those in Khon Kaen and Roi Et while some planes flew back.

“Since the wind was stronger than 20 knots (37.1 km/h), compared to the prescribed standard of 12-13 knots, pilots might choose to land at reserve airport or return to where they left for safety reasons,” he explained.

Six flights were affected: Lion Air (11.15am and 2pm), Nok Air (12.15pm and 2.25pm), Thai Smile (12.20pm) and Thai AirAsia (2.40pm).

Passengers on two more outbound Nok Air flights were also transferred by bus to Roi Et airport, 180km from Ubon Ratchathani airport.

The meteorological centre for the lower Northeast forecast cool weather and strong wind in Ubon Ratchathani over the next seven days, with the temperature dropping 2-4 degrees Celsius. Sporadic showers are also to be expected on Sunday. 

Video by Nila Singkiree

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