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Chicken or the beef? Thai Airways opens up pop-up restaurants serving their airline food.

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Chicken or the beef? Thai Airways opens up pop-up restaurants serving their airline food. | Thaiger
PHOTO: Chalinee Thirasupa

“Please return to your seat, pull down your tray table and prepare for the in-flight catering.”

If you can’t make money by flying people on jets, set up a restaurant selling your airline food instead. Now Thai Airways has transformed its old cafeteria in Bangkok into a pop-up restaurant serving, well, the same airline food they used to serve during flights. But have we missed Thai Airways’ airline food that much? Apparently yes. The pop up was mobbed by the locals on opening day.

Without a hint of sarcasm, airline spokesperson Kanta Akanitprachai said they set up the restaurant, complete with airline seats, because “Thai people were missing the airline catering”.

“I like the in-flight meals on Thai Airways, but we only get to have it when we fly. Today we get to have it here, that’s good because we want to eat.”

Catering manager for the national airline, Varangkana Luerojvong, said they decided to come up with the idea as the airline was still grounded, except for a few charter flights and it was a way to partially recoup some of the lost revenue from decreased demand for travel amid the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.

Decked out with spare plane parts, spare airline seats and spare cabin crew (in full uniform) the flight attendants mingled with the ‘passengers’ who gobbled down the same food we mostly used to complain about.

The pop-up is currently churning out 2,000 meals per day and, initially temporary, seems sure to remain for at least the short to medium term, based on current demand.

And whilst the company’s current Silom and Larnluang offices are mostly quiet, they’re also going to be turned into instant catering cafés.

Thai Airways says that the “high quality meals” will continue to be available at the Bangkok HQ every Wednesday to Friday, and that :additional pop-ups are being planned for the airline’s Silom and Larnluang offices”.

The full menu is available on the Thai Airways Facebook page.

It’s the only glimmer of success for the country’s national carrier since it was grounded in April, along with most other airlines, has had to submit to a major restructure, and is currently going through bankruptcy proceedings as the truth about the airlines’ systemic corruption comes to light.

Chicken or the beef? Thai Airways opens up pop-up restaurants serving their airline food. | News by Thaiger

SOURCES: Reuters | Fox News

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6 Comments

6 Comments

  1. Avatar

    Preesy Chepuce

    Saturday, September 5, 2020 at 7:46 pm

    Where’s the in flight movie and free booze?!

  2. Avatar

    Peter Harris

    Sunday, September 6, 2020 at 9:09 am

    What, no mile-high club?

  3. Avatar

    Brett Corinn

    Sunday, September 6, 2020 at 11:41 pm

    Good initiative to replace canceled airline tickets!

  4. Avatar

    Peter

    Monday, September 7, 2020 at 6:29 pm

    You couldn’t make this stuff up! Whilst Thai airlines food is generally quite good, Bangkok isn’t exactly lacking in the supply of delicious low cost food, it’s everywhere. Why on earth would you pay a premium price for what is available everywhere for almost free?

  5. Avatar

    Tony T

    Monday, September 7, 2020 at 10:40 pm

    The foods not that nice, i’d rather have my ticket money refunded so i can look at potential countries that will not class me as a “Dirty foreigner”

    Is there a Philippines or Vietnam version of this Thaiger site?

  6. Avatar

    Sickof thaiair

    Wednesday, September 9, 2020 at 2:02 pm

    Maybe pay your clients refunds before wasting cash you say you don’t have

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Chiang Mai

Tourism officials slash Songkran travel expectations by half

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Tourism officials slash Songkran travel expectations by half | Thaiger

The TAT, ever the optimists regarding anything tourism related, even domestic tourism, predict that the Bangkok clusters that have emerged in the week before the Songkran break could reduce traffic and spending by up to half.

Today the CCSA is reporting 789 new infections and one additional death. 522 were local infections, mostly walk-ins to Bangkok hospitals, 259 were discovered through track and tracing. The remaining 8 were found in quarantine from overseas arrivals. In Phuket, another 17 cases have been reported today, taking the island’s week total to 43.

Tourism officials slash Songkran travel expectations by half | News by ThaigerGRAPH: Worldometer figures for Thailand, up to April 9

A 68 year old man from Nakhon Pathom province died on April 4 but wasn’t reported until today. The CCSA report that he died from Covid and “complications”. 33 other former patients have recovered and been discharged.

Last week the TAT estimated 3.2 million domestic trips would circulate 12 billion baht for the Thai economy. But the Tourism Authority has now slashed their estimates by half after hotels, airlines and bus companies reported mass cancellations in the last few days. Other provinces are reporting less than 20% cancellations. Although this weekend will see a lot of travel, Songkran doesn’t formally start until next Tuesday and the TAT expect there could be additional fallout as travellers decide to have a staycation for Songkran instead heading home.

Bangkok Post reports that 70% of travellers to Prachuap Khiri Khan and Hua Hin have already cancelled hotel bookings. Similar cancellations have been reported in Pattaya, Phuket and Chiang Mai. Many other provinces, particularly in the north east and north, are also enforcing quarantine on arrivals or additional paperwork to try and protect their provinces from any of the Bangkok clusters.

8 north eastern provinces rare now requiring 10 or 14 day quarantine periods for anyone arriving from areas where new clusters have been reported. Chiang Mai provincial officials say that tourists from Samut Prakan, Nakhon Pathom, Bangkok, Pathum Thani and Nonthaburi – basically Bangkok and surrounding provinces – must complete a 14 day mandatory quarantine or conduct a test for Covid when they arrive.

The reality is that the travel and quarantine changes are outstripping the ability to communicate them all. Anyone crossing into other provinces in the next few day, especially if you’re travelling from Bangkok and surrounding provincial ‘red zones’ can expect some additional paperwork or a Covid test. Or even quarantine.

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Protests

Attendance on the wane for Thai democracy protests

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Attendance on the wane for Thai democracy protests | Thaiger
PHOTO: Demonstration attendance has been falling in the face of Covid-19, coups and crackdowns.

While protesters against the Thai government are continuing as they have for endless months, attendance is lessening in the face of crackdowns, coups and Covid-19. The throngs of 10,000 plus protesters, mostly energetic youth, that waved The Hunger Games 3 finger salute and demanded change in Thailand last summer have thinned to a few thousand or less these days.

The government isn’t in the clear yet though, as the protester’s calls to replace the current government, lessen the power of the Thai monarchy, and draw up a new constitution are still popular ideas. But a number of factors are causing protester size and vigour to wane.

The second wave of Covid in December quickly curbed the daily demonstrations for fear of spreading the virus. After that, the coup in Myanmar on February 1 has brought massive protests with international attention shifting to the growing humanitarian crisis just across the border. On top of the pandemic and the Burmese coup, the Thai government has taken a much more hardline approach to protesters in recent months.

Police began fighting back against mass demonstrations, dispersing crowds with water cannons, tear gas, and rubber bullets. And after 2 years of leniency, the government has begun prosecuting people under the strict lèse-majesté laws, where offending the monarchy can carry harsh punishment including a jail sentence of up to 15 years.

Anon Nampa, a human-rights lawyer, and Parit “Penguin” Chiwarak, a student activist, have already been arrested under this law and held without bail. Arrests like these have been demoralising for the pro-democracy movement, and have scared away a lot of Thai protesters. Many have shifted focus to more immediate efforts to demand the release of the detained protest leaders.

Even with the crowds shrinking, the protests have already brought about change, bringing once unspeakable conversations into the national conversation, and keeping pressure on Thailand’s leaders. Opposition is growing, with efforts to push no-confidence votes and amendments to the constitution being constantly proposed and advocated.

SOURCE: The Economist

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Coronavirus (Covid-19)

VIP clubs may be spreading Covid-19 from rich to poor

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VIP clubs may be spreading Covid-19 from rich to poor | Thaiger
PHOTO: Facebook - Krystal Bar in Thong Lor was the site of a Covid-19 Outbreak

A third Covid-19 wave surging through Thailand is spreading through entertainment centres, including high-end VIP clubs rumoured to be popular with elite government officials. 559 Covid-19 infections and 1 death were reported today and the outbreak, which began in bars and clubs in the Thong Lor area of Bangkok among other nightlife hotspots, is surging, reaching 20 provinces throughout Thailand. Outbreaks in Chon Buri, Pattaya, and Phuket have also been linked directly to evening entertainment venues, such as the dance music festival in Phuket last weekend that resulted in 10 infections. Now, evidence is emerging that the wave is spreading through Bangkok’s wealthy elite and government officials.

In Phuket, where 70% vaccination of residents has been a primary focus in order to re-open to desperately needed tourism, the new outbreak has brought bar closures and new restrictions. And it looks like Songkran celebrations across the country will be muted, if not cancelled.

With nightlife and hospitality workers being disproportionately affected by the third wave of Covid-19, many are airing their frustrations with the VIP elite class contributing to the outbreak, including a trending hashtag #CovidThonglor. Transport Minister Saksayam Chidchob was one of the first cabinet members to test positive for Covid-19, amid rumours that he had recently attended or been in proximity with someone who attended Krystal Club, an upscale entertainment business. Though he denies being there, the club is allegedly so popular among politicians and officials that it is often referred to by the nickname “Government House 2”. Nearly a third of cabinet ministers are now self-isolating for fear of Covid-19 exposure.

With 200,000 baht minimum spending limits, it’s a high-society hotspot that may be spreading Covid-19 from the rich VIP customers to the poor staff and everyone they come in contact with. Calls for government officials and other elites who attended VIP clubs like this to disclose their potentially embarrassing timelines have so far been mostly unheeded.

In Bangkok, hospitals and private medical facilities have been warning of a shortage of testing kits and Covid-ready hospital beds. Field hospitals have been erected to prepare as the outbreak expands with surging cases. Experts think the new outbreak may be contained in a month or two, but fear in Bangkok it may take much longer to recover.

SOURCE: SCMP

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