Three Nigerians are living at Bangkok’s International Suvarnabhumi Airport in a no man’s land. It’s a situation similar to the 2004 Tom Hanks movie The Terminal. They arrived on flights between March 21st and 24th destined for Laos and Myanmar both of which had already closed their borders.
Suvarnabhumi Airport has become home to three Nigerian nationals for 8 weeks or so in similar circumstances to the 2004 hit movie as they find themselves living in the no man’s land as transit passengers seeking to connect with cancelled flights to countries whose borders are closed.
Three Nigerian men who flew into Suvarnabhumi Airport at the end of March just as countries around the world began to close their borders, including Thailand’s neighbours, have been left stranded in no man’s land.
Their predicament is something akin to the 2004 hit movie The Terminal starring Tom Hanks except this is really happening now in Bangkok.
Situation confirmed by the airport’s management
The situation was confirmed this week by the Special Affairs and Community Relations Department at Thailand’s main international airport.
Two of the passengers arrived there on a March 21st Emirates Airlines flight. They were to catch a connecting flight that day to Laos.
On the same day, Laos and other neighbouring countries announced an immediate cessation of inbound passenger flights similar to the Thai civil aviation order which was announced overnight on April 4th, some two weeks later.
On March 24th, another Nigerian passenger arrived on an Etihad Airways flight intending to make a connection to Myanmar which had already been cancelled two days earlier as that country’s borders were also closed.
Did not apply for visas and cannot leave the airport
The three men, it is reported, failed to apply for visas on arrival in Thailand after landing and consequently are not allowed to leave the environs of the airport as they are still technically passengers in transit.
They are also precluded from taking flights back home as both Emirates and Etihad Airways have suspended their normal flight services to and from Thailand at this time.
Given food everyday and basic accommodation
This has left the men in this curious situation.
It is understood that officials at the airport are in contact with the Nigerian embassy to see if a solution can be found.
In the meantime, the trio are being supplied with daily food packages and water by staff at Suvarnabhumi and are living in the terminal.
The Nigerians have also been tested at the airport for the Covid 19 virus and it has been confirmed that they are not carrying the infection.