THE THAI air force has summoned reservists with experience in flying Airbus A340 aircraft as well as roped in Thai Airways International pilots with similar experience in preparing to launch flights to evacuate Thais from Israel starting tonight (Oct. 14), Naewna newspaper said this afternoon.
As more than 7,000 Thais in Israel have said they want to return home with this total being quite large the air force will be flying several flights to complete the mission.
Although commercial airlines are helping evacuate Thais from Israel, the long distance and the number of people to be evacuated means the air force has to fly several flights but does not have enough pilots for this task, especially Airbus A340 pilots.
A source in the air force revealed that the air force is calling up reservists according to the emergency procedure while many Thai Airways pilots who are familiar with this aircraft and the route have said they are willing to fly with air force pilots.
In using the air force aircraft there has to be rotation and crew rest according to flight rules and international safety standards in undertaking several consecutive flights to bring Thai in Israel back home, the source added.
Earlier Prime Minister Srettha Thavisin said three more Thai workers had died taking the death toll to 24 while 16 were being held captive and 16 others injured.
He reiterated that Thailand remains neutral in the Israel-Hamas war and is working with all parties to ensure the safety of Thai workers.
He added that the Thai embassy in Tel Aviv confirmed three more Thais had died while there are now 7,000 Thais wanting to return home as quickly as possible.
He thanked commercial airlines for helping evacuate Thais while adding that he has used his personal connection with SpiceJet, an Indian budget airline, to fly Thais back to their homeland and this airline is able to fly 350 people per flight.
Thai air force’s Airbus A340 taking off and flying high. Top photo: Thai Rath, Front Page photo: Naewna
Also read: 19 more Thais returning from Israel today