British nationals stranded by protests which have closed Bangkok international airport are staying at hotels in the capital.

The Foreign Office has advised passengers to stay in contact with their airlines and tour operators for updates on the situation. It would not confirm how many tourists were stranded in the Thai capital.

Anti-government protesters yesterday forced the closure of the second airport in Bangkok, Don Mueang.

The Thai government has declared a state of emergency at the two airports.

Etihad Airways has secured rights for relief flights to operate from U-Taphao, an airport 150 kilometres east of Bangkok. The flights will be operated by a Boeing 777 aircraft, which can accommodate a total of 378 passengers.

Foreign Office minister Bill Rammell said: “Thailand is an important destination for British tourists and investors. I sympathise with those whose travel plans have been disrupted by the closure of Bangkok’s international airport.

“The consular team at our embassy is offering assistance to British nationals affected, and liaising with the airlines. Travellers to Thailand should monitor the travel advice on our website and keep in touch with their airlines and tour operators”.