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Mae Hong Son expresses concern over suspension of THAI flights

The governor of Thailand`s northern province of Mae Hong Son warned yesterday that the decision by Thai Airways International Public Company Limited (THAI) to suspend its Chiang Mai-Mae Hong Son flights…

The governor of Thailand`s northern province of Mae Hong Son warned yesterday that the decision by Thai Airways International Public Company Limited (THAI) to suspend its Chiang Mai-Mae Hong Son flights in November could deal a heavy blow to the province`s tourism industry.

Mr. Suphot Laowansiri said that he would ask THAI to reconsider its decision to halt its flights to Mae Hong Son in November for the purposes of aircraft maintenance, noting that November was a major tourism month in the province.

Normally the airline operates two aircraft on its Chiang Mai-Mae Hong Son route, but one of its planes is being held at the Mae Hong Son Airport after a recent malfunction, and the airline has not indicated when it will be put back in service.

Mae Hong Son derives its principal source of income from tourism, with most tourists arriving by plane.

November is particularly important for the province`s tourism industry as visitors normally flock to the Bua Tong Festival in Khun Yuan district.

Mr. Suphot warned that rumours of the suspension of THAI flights were already having an adverse impact on the province`s tourism business.

However, Mr. Suthep Khemthong, the Director of Mae Hong Son Airport, hinted that the situation might be resolved by the Department of Aviation`s bringing in alternative aircraft on the route.

However, he said that he had not yet been officially informed by THAI of the decision to suspend the operations.

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