El Al now flying out of Pattaya

After anti-government protesters closed Bangkok's two airports this week, El Al announced that all its flights to and from Thailand will be directed to Pattaya Airport, about 150 km. north of Bangkok. The national airline said it would provide transport to and from Bangkok for all its passengers. El Al has a daily flight to Thailand, a favorite spot for Israeli tourists. Travel agencies estimated that up to 10,000 Israelis are currently in Thailand. The Foreign Ministry in Jerusalem issued a call to all Israelis currently in Thailand to make contact immediately. The hotline number in Thailand is 02-2049209. Sources in the travel industry said on Thursday that the riots - and Tuesday's decision by a Thai court to hand down death sentences to two Israelis for trading in drugs - have apparently caused many to consider leaving. Tourism to Thailand has dropped this year, with the Airports Authority reporting that in October, only 12,427 Israelis travelled to the country, a 31 percent decline from the same period last year.