In Thailand’s bustling capital of Bangkok, the cacophonous hum of military aircraft roaring above at Don Meang military airport signaled the homecoming of Thai citizens who were working in Israel. The emotional reunion on Friday, beautifully captured by Varuth Hirunyatheb’s camera lens, left many teary-eyed, marking the end of a challenging chapter in the lives of numerous Thai workers.
A total of 534 Thai nationals working in Israel, understandably eager to escape the throes of war and return to their homeland, are set to make their journey home this weekend. As conveyed by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, these citizens have enlisted themselves for this massive repatriation exercise coordinated by the Thai embassy situated in Tel Aviv.
The Indian low-cost airline, SpiceJet, will be the first to wing these workers back home. Slated for a Friday night departure from Tel Aviv at 8.15 pm local time, this flight will be carrying 320 Thai nationals. Barring any unforeseen delays, these passengers can expect to touch down on Thai soil by Saturday, 1.10 pm Thailand time, at the famous Suvarnabhumi airport in Bangkok.
Close on the heels, another airliner, Arkia Israeli Airlines, is scheduled to ferry the remaining 214 workers back home. This flight is slated to take off from Israel at 11pm local time, with its passengers yawning their relief as they arrive on Saturday at Suvarnabhumi airport at 2.05pm, Thailand time.
Meanwhile, down under in Sydney, Australia, the Royal Thai Consulate-General deemed it wise to issue a safety advisory for Thai citizens. Following a demonstration in support of the State of Palestine—an event that took place on October 15 at Hyde Park and met with announcements for another forthcoming rally—Thais in Sydney are expressly advised to steer clear of the rally’s stretch, from Town Hall to Belmore Park.
The consulate advised the Thai people in Sydney to refrain from going near the rally site, for their safety. Moreover, in the event of emergencies, they can promptly contact the consulate’s hotline number, 0411 424 303, for assistance.
On a somber note, the war claimed the lives of eight valuable Thai lives working in Israel following the Hamas attack dated back to October 7. Their mortal remains were repatriated via a commercial flight on Friday. The bodies were then carried to their respective home provinces, leaving behind the poignant air of loss and sorrow.