The leaders of the People's Alliance for Democracy have agreed to allow 88 grounded aircraft to fly out of Suvarnabhumi Airport.

The planes were stranded when they flew in as the PAD occupied the international airport last Tuesday night. Only a handful of passengers have been allowed to leave since then.

The agreement came after hours of negotiations between protest leaders and Airports of Thailand, the airport's owner and operator.

The first of the 88 aircraft already left Suvarnabhumi shortly after dark on Sunday evening.

Under the agreement, Thai Airways International and foreign airlines can fly to airports in other provinces of the country to help evacuate tourists who have been stranded for nearly a week by the protesters.

There is no sign the PAD demonstrators will leave the airport.

© 2008 Bangkok Post