November 24, 2023
BANGKOK – Airlines asked the airport to change nighttime flight schedules on Monday and Tuesday to avoid danger from thousands of flaming lanterns that are launched to celebrate the festival.
The affected flights had been scheduled to land or take off after 7pm on Monday and Tuesday, said airport deputy director Wisut Khamyod.
The changes affect 47% of flights scheduled to fly to and from Chiang Mai Airport over the two days.
Of the 160 flights affected, 101 have been cancelled and 59 rescheduled.
The 101 cancellations comprise 77 domestic flights and 24 international flights.
Those rescheduled comprise eight international and 51 domestic flights.
Wisut said the airport had sought to minimise travel disruption by informing passengers in advance that the festival could bring flight changes.
The ban on lighting up fireworks and releasing lanterns within 4.6 kilometres of the airport would be tightly enforced, he added.
Airport security will also increase runway patrols from four times a day to 10 times a day during the festival.
The Yi Peng festival – the North’s version of Loy Krathong – takes place in Chiang Mai during the full moon of the second month of the Lanna Calendar, which usually falls in November. A celebration of light and hope, the festival is marked by the release of thousands of flaming lanterns into the night sky – as well as the yearly disruption of flights.