Bangkok's Suvarnabhumi Airport and national carrier Thai Airways International have imposed contingency plans, as the Thai capital braces for likely rallies by opposition protesters.

Anti-government protesters are expected to rally in Bangkok from today, in an attempt to force Thai prime minister Abhisit Vejjajiva to call fresh elections.

Suvarnabhumi imposed an emergency plan from yesterday until 23 March, says the airport.

There are concerns that the protests will disrupt travelling plans of passengers, says the airport's general manager Nirandra Theeranartsin.

The airport and Thai have advised passengers to allow for more time to check in for flights, and to arrive four hours before international flights and three hours before domestic flights.

Thai will also close two ticket offices and a contact centre in Bangkok during the rallies and will re-open them after the situation returns to normal, says the airline, whose head office in the Thai capital remains open.

In late November and early December 2008, anti-government protesters seized Suvarnabhumi and Bangkok's Don Mueang Airport, causing massive flight cancellations and financial losses for carriers.

Source: Air Transport Intelligence news