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Boeing sued by more than 400 pilots in class action over 737 MAX ‘cover-up’

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Boeing sued by more than 400 pilots in class action over 737 MAX ‘cover-up’ | The Thaiger
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More than 400 pilots are involved in a class action against the US manufacturer of the 737 MAX seeking damages over what they allege was Boeing’s “unprecedented cover-up” of the “known design flaws” of the latest incarnation of its top-selling jet.

• A plaintiff lodged claims against Boeing on behalf of hundreds of pilot peers alleging the company “knowingly” covered up the defective aspects of its 737 MAX jet. The claims focus on one piece of software pilots claim they weren’t told about – the MCAS (Maneuvering Characteristics Augmentation System).

• This latest lawsuit filed against Boeing marks the first class action lodged by pilots qualified to fly the 737 MAX series. They allege that Boeing’s decisions have caused them to suffer from monetary loss and mental distress since the plane’s grounding.

• The originating plaintiff, known as Pilot X, who says he wants to remain anonymous for “fear of reprisal from Boeing , lodged the claim on Friday seeking damages for more than 400 colleagues who work for the same airline.

• The claim allege that Boeing “engaged in an unprecedented cover-up of “known design flaws” of the MAX, which “predictably resulted in the crashes” of two new 737 Max-model aircraft. A subsequent grounding of all MAX aircraft worldwide followed.”

• Boeing’s 737 MAX series, first mooted in 2011 and eventually launched in 2017, is the fourth generation of its 737 aircraft, a widely popular narrow-body jet manufactured since 1967 and becoming the world’s biggest selling aeroplane .

• By March 2019, the global fleet was suspended following the second fatal crash involving a 737 MAX that killed 157 people in Ethiopia. This followed another crash of a Lion Air Boeing 737 Max 8 jet just after take-off in Jakarta in October 2018.

• The class action will be heard in a Chicago court, with a hearing date set for October 21, 2019.

Presently, the Boeing 737 MAX fleet remains grounded around the world as the company proceeds with a software update. The FAA has not committed to a timetable for the jet’s return.

Boeing sued by more than 400 pilots in class action over 737 MAX 'cover-up' | News by The Thaiger

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World

International travel slow to take off, Covid-19 restrictions changing

Caitlin Ashworth

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International travel slow to take off, Covid-19 restrictions changing | The Thaiger
PHOTO: Jetstar

While Thailand is working on safely, and slowly, reopening its borders to foreign tourists after a 7 month ban, other countries are also adapting to new, pandemic-induced, travel measures. Some are slowly lifting restrictions and resuming flights, while some remain grounded.

Australia

Qantas Airlines flights from Australia to the United States will continue to be grounded until January 31, 2021 which includes the destinations New York, Los Angeles, San Francisco and Honolulu. The airline will also continue to ground flights to Japan, including Tokyo, Osaka and Sapporo.

Singapore

Jetstar Asia, based in Singapore, will resume flights to major destinations in Southeast Asia with flights to Bangkok starting next month. Since flights are always changing due to uncertainties and travel restrictions, flights to select Southeast Asia cities are only being offered from October 25 to November 15. JetStar will then review flights again. Destinations include Clark in the Philippines, Jakarta in Indonesia as well as Kuala Lumpur and Penang in Malaysia.

Hong Kong

Hong Kong and Singapore have agreed on a travel bubble schemed that will allow Hong Kong nationals and Singapore nationals to travel between the 2 countries without going through Covid-19 tests or quarantine periods. The countries have not announced when the scheme will begin.

Maldives

All incoming tourists and short-term visitors must have a certificate declaring negative Covid-19 test result issued 96 hours before arrival, extending the window from the previous 72 hours.

SOURCE: TTR Weekly

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Transport

Koh Samui tourism operators want cheaper flights to lure tourists

Caitlin Ashworth

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Koh Samui tourism operators want cheaper flights to lure tourists | The Thaiger
PHOTO: Chiang Rai Times

Koh Samui needs more visitors, from anywhere. A number of hotels on the island, one of Thailand’s popular tourist destinations hit by the pandemic-induced travel bans, are certified for alternative local state quarantine, or ALSQ, and now tourism officials are looking to lure travellers in with cheaper flights.

Getting the prices lower could be difficult. President of the Tourism Association of Koh Samui, Vorasit Pongkumpunt, says both the airport and pier are owned by the private sector (in the car of the Airport, Bangkok Airways). Their monopoly has kept the cost of air fares to Samui inordinately high, when compared to most other air travel costs around the country.

“We want the government to find any practical solutions to help travellers visiting Samui with cheaper transport costs… Unfortunately, all entry points to the island – both airport and pier – are owned by the private sector. Bargaining for price reduction is hard.”

Tourism operators talk about the idea of lowering flight costs at a meeting next month focused on tourism stimulus plans for the southern provinces Phuket and Surat Thani, which includes Koh Samui. Vorasit says the island is ready to welcome international travellers on the new Special Tourist Visa.

A number of the island’s hotels, including 5-star resorts, on the island have been approved as ALSQ facilities and Koh Samui is now at healthcare capacity, Vorasit says.

4 luxury reports on the island, owned by Asset World Corp, a developer under the Thai billionaire Charoen Sirivadhanabhakdi’s TCC Group, are certified as ALSQ facilities. The hotels have trained staff and partnered with hospitals, according to the property developer’s chief hospitality group officer, Stephan Vanden Auweele. The hotels have also been inspected by authorities, but the Bangkok Post says the operators still want clarity about the Special Tourist Visa scheme.

While many tourist destinations have been preparing for potential visitors on the Special Tourist Visa scheme, plans have been sketchy, to say the least. A flight scheduled for earlier this month was delayed, with some saying it was postponed and scheduled to arrive after the Phuket Vegetarian Festival. Thailand’s Foreign Ministry spokesperson announced a few days later that no one in Guangzhou, China had actually applied for the visa. A group of visitors are now scheduled to arrive in Bangkok tomorrow.

The ban on international tourists has been in place for the past 6 months. Stephan says lifting border restrictions is important and tourism operators need the foreign visitors to survive.

SOURCE: Bangkok Post

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Thailand

UPDATE: Broken railway crossing signal contributed to fatal bus-train collision east of Bangkok

Caitlin Ashworth

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UPDATE: Broken railway crossing signal contributed to fatal bus-train collision east of Bangkok | The Thaiger
PHOTO: Facebook: @pr8riew

A broken crossing signal led to the fatal collision yesterday, where a freight train smashed into a charter bus, killing 18 bus passengers and injuring another 44. Officials from the department as well as the State Railway of Thailand governor visited the site after the accident and say the broken crossing signal “contributed to the fatal incident”.

The bus was carrying dozens of factory workers to a Buddhist merit-making ceremony when it crossed the railway track and was struck, at speed, by the freight train. The bus appears to be meandering across the crossing, oblivious to the approaching locomotive when the train smashes into the front of the bus, swinging it around and dragging it along the track, stripping off the roof of the bus, until it fell onto its side.

The crossing by the Khlong Kwaeng Klan railway station in the Chachoengsao province, about 50 kilometres east of Bangkok, also had no boom gate to block traffic from crossing, another factor in the cause of the incident, according to the department. Transport Minister Saksiam Chidchob acknowledged that the State Railways of Thailand’s budget to install railroad crossing gates has been cut.

In an earlier report, the provincial governor Maitree Tritilanond said the crossing has an alarm, but there was no barrier to block traffic when a train is coming. Whether or not the alarm or warning for the approaching train was working, has not yet been clarified.

“The province will install speed bumps and barriers as well as cut down trees near the crossing to improve visibility. Let this case be a lesson, and we will make improvements at risky spots so such accidents will not take place again.”

Video of the horrific incident will be part of today’s Thailand News Today (uploaded at 5pm Thai time).

SOURCE: Nation Thailand

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