Flight operations have been severely disrupted at Thailand's main gateway airport serving the capital Bangkok after anti-government protesters stormed the passenger terminal last night.

Thousands of protesters are still occupying Suvarnabhumi Airport this morning in an apparent attempt to stop prime minister Somchai Wongsawat from returning to Thailand.

The embattled prime minister is due to return to Thailand today from Lima, Peru, where he attended the Asia-Pacific Economic Co-operation summit. Government officials say he will fly into another airport, however, to avoid Suvarnabhumi.

State-run Airports of Thailand says in a statement that Suvarnabhumi Airport was closed to departing flights at 21:00. It says that although inbound flights were still able to arrive after that time, "airport operations have been greatly disrupted".

It is unclear if inbound flights will be able to land this morning but airlines have already cancelled or delayed Bangkok-bound flights for today.

Anti-government protests have been taking place in Bangkok for months.

Acting director of Suvarnabhumi Airport, Serirat Prasutanont, said this morning that the protesters have refused to negotiate with him.

Source: Air Transport Intelligence news