AVIATION experts said Friday that the tyre may have burst because the emergency landing on Phuket was carried out with one engine and a full load of fuel.
Initial reports said the captain on the flight to Germany via Abu Dhabi reported a burning engine 30 minutes from Phuket and turned back.
Emergency procedures were in place with fire trucks and ambulances on standby on Phuket as the Airbus landed.
One passenger said later that a tyre ''exploded'' on landing and fire officers quickly responded.
No injuries were reported when the aircraft incident occurred, a Phuketwan reporter was told by an airport source.
Flight AB7425 took off about 8.40pm with 249 passengers on board.
The source said the diversion of aircraft commenced as soon as the incident occurred. The likely result of the incident is that Phuket airport will be on overload for at least 12 hours, possibly longer.
One airport source said the airport would reopen at 3am on Friday.
A British expat resident of Phuket, Duncan Worthington, who was waiting for a friend to arrive at Phuket airport tonight, said information was scarce.
''The board just says 'Delayed, delayed, delayed,' '' he said. His friend's flight turned back to Bangkok. ''There is no information being provided to people.''
Minutes later, Mr Worthington was able to establish that his friend's Bangkok Airways flight, originally leaving Bangkok at 19.44pm, had been rescheduled to depart for Phuket at 04.30am tomorrow.
All flights were diverted to bangkok, an airport source said, At least one other flight was diverted to Penang in Malaysia, said a person at the airport awaiting an arriving friend.
A Phuketwan reporter at the Phuket airport said there were only a few people at the airport at 11pm. Most departing passengers appear to have been told that flights have been delayed.
Scores of takeoffs and landings are expected to be delayed or diverted over the next few hours.
The single-runway Phuket airport is at peak capacity at this time of the year - the tourist ''high'' season'' - with an average of more than 180 takeoffs and landings each day.
The present airport was built to handle 6.5 million passengers. However, the airport is now operating well beyond capacity with 9.4 million passengers expected when 2012 ends.
Construction has just begun on an expansion that will take its capacity to 12.5 million passengers.