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New Suvarnabhumi airport terminal on hold

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New Suvarnabhumi airport terminal on hold | The Thaiger
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The AoT (Airports of Thailand) has put the new second terminal plans on hold awaiting reports and opinions from stakeholders and even the International Civil Aviation Organisation.

Two key organisations have been fierce critics of the new terminal, well overdue to help take the load off the already-over-capacity main terminal at Suvarnabhumi Airport in Bangkok.

The Architects Council of Thailand and the Council of Engineers say the new terminal plans have strayed from the airport’s master plan which was put together back in 1990.

The AoT are also being taken to the Administrative Court by one of the failed bidders in the early bidding process, SA Group, who claim they were unfairly treated. They say they were disqualified from the bidding process over a minor technicality whilst they scored the highest in all the important areas of the design tender.

The AoT will now have to wait whilst the various legal challenges and reports are processed. But there is pressure to push through two major upgrades which have been described as ‘urgent’ – the 22 billion bahtthird runway and the 6.6 billion baht expansion of the western end of the first terminal.

Down south, the Transport Minister Arkhom Termpittayapaisith has broken ground for a third terminal at Krabi International Airport. Krabi Airport handled 6 million travellers last year. The new terminal is expected to increase capacity to handle 3,000 passengers per hour, double the current capacity.

There has also been budget allocated for a new a multi-storey car park for up to 2,000 vehicles.

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Thailand

Thai Airways to resume flights from Bangkok to Chiang Mai and Phuket

Caitlin Ashworth

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Thai Airways to resume flights from Bangkok to Chiang Mai and Phuket | The Thaiger
PHOTO: Thai Airways

After nearly 9 months on the ground due to the coronavirus pandemic, along with problems balancing their accounts, Thai Airways will resume flights between Bangkok and Chiang Mai as well as Bangkok and Phuket later this month. The flights will start back up on Christmas day.

Flights from Bangkok to the 2 key tourist provinces have been grounded since April 1. Starting December 25, the airline will run 3 flights a week on both routes. A source told the Bangkok Post that the new schedules will run until at least February 28.

Thai Lion Air, Thai Air Asia, Nok Air, Thai Smile, VietJet Air and Bangkok Airways have returned to the domestic skies since July and slowly adding frequency to their routes.

In addition to resuming the domestic flights, the Thai Airways is relaunching some international flights from January 1 to March 27 including weekly flights to Frankfurt, London, Copenhagen, Sydney, Seoul, Manila, Taipei and Osaka. Flights from Bangkok to Tokyo will be available 3 times a week and flights from Bangkok to Hong Kong will be available every day.

Thai Airways has been tackling bankruptcy throughout the lockdown and trying to make up for more than 300 billion baht in losses. Since many flights were suspended due to travel restrictions, Thai Airways has tried to make money by business ventures on the ground, like a pop-up restaurant serving in-flight meals and selling off unwanted equipment from their warehouse. There also disposing of much of their older fleet, including all of their Boring 747-400s.

SOURCE: Bangkok Post

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Politics

Court to deliver verdict on PM’s military residence this afternoon

Maya Taylor

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Court to deliver verdict on PM’s military residence this afternoon | The Thaiger
PHOTO: Nation Thailand

Security is expected to be extremely tight at Bangkok’s Constitutional Court today, as the ruling in the matter of the PM’s residence is delivered. Prayut Chan-o-cha is accused of violating army rules by occupying a military residence rent-free, despite having retired from the army in 2014. Critics say his tenancy represents a conflict of interest. Should the court agree with them, it will spell the end of his premiership, something pro-democracy protesters have been calling for since July.

Thai PBS World reports that the court has issued a statement to confirm that only approved parties will be allowed in the courtroom, including the PM, the complainant, and relevant lawyers and officials. The case was brought earlier this year, following a request from the leader of the Pheu Thai opposition party, Sompong Amornwiwat. The court has confirmed the verdict will be broadcast on its You Tube channel from around 3pm, meaning the public can watch it live.

Bangkok authorities are apprehensive about potential unrest should some parties disagree with the court’s findings. Piya Tavichai from the Metropolitan Police Bureau has confirmed that hundreds of police officers will be on duty, in and around the court buildings, with the front entrance already sealed off. A planned rally by the anti-government protest group, Ratsadon, has now been switched to the Lad Phrao Intersection, in the Chatuchak district of the capital.

We’ll all know the decision around 3pm this afternoon.

SOURCE: Thai PBS World

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Tourism

Bangkok is the best leisure city in the Asia Pacific – Business Traveller Asia-Pacific

The Thaiger

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Bangkok is the best leisure city in the Asia Pacific – Business Traveller Asia-Pacific | The Thaiger

Despite few travellers actually being able to visit Thailand’s capital, including ‘business travellers, readers of Business Traveller Asia-Pacific have again named Bangkok the ‘Best Leisure City in the Asia-Pacific’. The Big Mango retains the top ranking on the list for the 5th consecutive year. Bangkok also got third place in the ranking of the Best Business city in the Asia. Singapore and Hong Kong beach out the Thai capital in that category.

Not only that. The 2020 ranking is also a record 10th time that Bangkok has won the award since 2008. Each year, Business Traveller Asia-Pacific confers the awards based on votes cast by its readers and subscribers.

Yuthasak Supasorn, Governor of the TAT says that, despite the current travel restrictions, Bangkok was able to win the award again.

“Bangkok remains top-of-mind with Business Traveller Asia-Pacific readers. We look forward to welcoming them back soon.”

The TAT were unable to contain their excitement with this PR fizz as they waxed lyrical…

“Bangkok’s rich diversity remains a major draw, showcased via its unique blend of New World experiences and Old World charms. And it is not just about mouth-watering Thai street food, though that remains a key attraction. the city now boasts multiple Michelin starred restaurants served by a modern transportation infrastructure.”

“This includes a new Blue Line underground train extension to historic Rattanakosin Island, where the grandeur of its amazing past remains on full display.”

Each year Business Traveller Asia-Pacific magazine, which gets around 750,000 readers a month online, confers the awards based on votes cast by its readers and subscribers. This includes frequent travellers who use airports, airlines and hotel services to visit a variety of regional destinations. Between April and June 2020, Business Traveller Asia-Pacific sent out a voting poll to subscribers with the results independently compiled by market research company Business Intelligence.

The Business Traveller brand leads the portfolio of titles belonging to international publishing house Panacea Publishing, which is based in London. Business TravellerAsia-Pacific is one of 13 titles around the world.

Since its first issue in 1982, Business Traveller Asia-Pacific has become a valuable resource for frequent travellers, as well as serving as a platform for their concerns.

Other winners in this year’s awards…

Airlines

Best Airline

  1. Singapore Airlines
  2. Cathay Pacific
  3. Qatar Airways

Best Asia-Pacific Airline

  1. Singapore Airlines
  2. Cathay Pacific
  3. Thai Airways (not bad considering they’ve been grounded since March 2020)

Best Chinese Airline

  1. Air China
  2. China Southern
  3. China Eastern

Best European Airline

  1. Lufthansa
  2. British Airways
  3. Swiss International Air Lines

Best North American Airline

  1. Delta Air Lines
  2. American Airlines
  3. United Airlines

Best Middle-Eastern/African Airline

  1. Qatar Airways
  2. Emirates
  3. Etihad Airways

Best Low Cost Airline

  1. AirAsia
  2. Easyjet
  3. JetStar

Best Airline First Class

  1. Singapore Airlines
  2. Emirates
  3. Cathay Pacific

Best Airline Business Class

  1. Qatar Airways
  2. Singapore Airlines
  3. Emirates

Best Airline Premium Economy Class

  1. Singapore Airlines
  2. Cathay Pacific
  3. Qantas

Best Airline Economy Class

  1. Singapore Airlines
  2. Emirates
  3. Qatar Airways

Best Frequent-Flyer Programme

  1. Cathay Pacific – Marco Polo Club
  2. Singapore Airlines – KrisFlyer
  3. British Airways – Executive Club

Best Airport Lounge

  1. Cathay Pacific – The Pier First Hong Kong
  2. Qantas – First Class Sydney
  3. Singapore Airlines – The Private Room

Best Independent Airport Lounge

  1. Plaza Premium First Hong Kong
  2. American Express Centurion Hong Kong
  3. Plaza Premium Hong Kong T1 Gate 35

Airports

Best Airport in the World

  1. Singapore Changi Airport
  2. Hong Kong International Airport
  3. Dubai International Airport

Best Airport in Asia-Pacific

  1. Singapore Changi Airport
  2. Hong Kong International Airport
  3. Incheon Airport

Best Duty-Free in the World

  1. Incheon Airport
  2. Singapore Changi Airport
  3. Dubai International Airport

Best Business City in Asia

  1. Singapore
  2. Hong Kong
  3. Bangkok

Best Business City in the World

  1. Singapore
  2. London
  3. Hong Kong

Best Leisure City in Asia-Pacific

  1. Bangkok
  2. Singapore
  3. Tokyo

Hotels

Best Business Hotel Brand in the World

  1. Grand Hyatt
  2. Mandarin Oriental
  3. InterContinental

Best Business Hotel Brand in Asia-Pacific

  1. Shangri-La
  2. Grand Hyatt
  3. Mandarin Oriental

Best Business Hotel Brand in Europe

  1. Sofitel
  2. InterContinental
  3. Hilton Hotels & Resorts

Best Business Hotel Brand in North America

  1. Marriott Hotels
  2. Four Seasons
  3. Hilton Hotels & Resorts

Best Business Hotel Brand in Middle East/Africa

  1. Jumeirah
  2. InterContinental
  3. Hilton Hotels & Resorts

Best Mid-Market Hotel Brand in the World

  1. Novotel
  2. Holiday Inn
  3. Courtyard by Marriott

Best Luxury Hotel Brand in Asia-Pacific

  1. Four Seasons
  2. The Ritz-Carlton
  3. Shangri-La

Best Independent Hotel Brand

  1. The Fullerton Hotels and Resorts
  2. Aman Resorts
  3. Ovolo Hotels

Best Hotel Loyalty Programme

  1. Marriott Bonvoy
  2. Hilton Hhonors
  3. IHG Rewards

Best Business Hotel in the World

  1. Mandarin Oriental, Hong Kong
  2. The Peninsula, Hong Kong
  3. Raffles Singapore

Best Business Hotel in Asia-Pacific

  1. Shangri-La, Singapore
  2. Mandarin Oriental, Hong Kong
  3. Island Shangri-La, Hong Kong

Best Airport Hotel in Asia-Pacific

  1. Crowne Plaza Changi Airport, Singapore
  2. Regal Airport, Hong Kong
  3. Hong Kong SkyCity Marriott

Best New Business Hotel in Asia-Pacific

  1. Four Seasons Hotel Kuala Lumpur
  2. InterContinental Singapore Robertson Quay
  3. Andaz Singapore

Best Independent Hotel in Asia-Pacific

  1. The Fullerton Bay Hotel, Singapore
  2. 137 Pillars Suites Bangkok
  3. COMO The Treasury, Perth

Best Business Hotel in Bangkok

  1. Mandarin Oriental
  2. InterContinental Bangkok
  3. Grand Hyatt Erawan

Best Business Hotel in Beijing

  1. Grand Hyatt
  2. China World Summit Wing, Beijing
  3. The Peninsula

Best Business Hotel in Chengdu

  1. Niccolo
  2. Shangri-La
  3. Grand Hyatt

Best Business Hotel in Guangzhou

  1. Shangri-La
  2. Mandarin Oriental
  3. The Ritz-Carlton

Best Business Hotel in Hanoi

  1. Sofitel Legend Metropole Hanoi
  2. Hilton Hanoi Opera
  3. InterContinental Hanoi Westlake

Best Business Hotel in Ho Chi Minh City

  1. Park Hyatt Saigon
  2. InterContinental Asiana Saigon
  3. Sheraton Saigon Hotel & Towers

Best Business Hotel in Hong Kong

  1. Island Shangri-La
  2. Grand Hyatt
  3. The Peninsula

Best Business Hotel in Jakarta

  1. JW Marriott
  2. Grand Hyatt
  3. Shangri-La

Best Business Hotel in Kuala Lumpur

  1. Grand Hyatt
  2. Mandarin Oriental
  3. Doubletree by Hilton

Best Business Hotel in Macau

  1. Grand Hyatt
  2. The Venetian
  3. Conrad Macao Cotai Strip

Best Business Hotel in Manila

  1. Shangri-La at the Fort
  2. Makati Shangri-La
  3. The Peninsula

Best Business Hotel in Melbourne

  1. Grand Hyatt
  2. InterContinental Melbourne The Rialto
  3. Park Hyatt

Best Business Hotel in Mumbai

  1. The Taj Mahal Palace
  2. The Oberoi
  3. Four Seasons

Best Business Hotel in New Delhi

  1. ITC Maurya, A Luxury Collection Hotel
  2. The Taj Mahal Hotel
  3. JW Marriott Hotel New Delhi Aerocity

Best Business Hotel in Seoul

  1. Lotte Hotel
  2. Grand Hyatt
  3. InterContinental Grand Seoul Parnas

Best Business Hotel in Shanghai

  1. Grand Hyatt
  2. JW Marriott Hotel Shanghai at Tomorrow Square
  3. Pudong Shangri-La, East Shanghai

Best Business Hotel in Shenzhen

  1. Futian Shangri-La
  2. InterContinental
  3. Grand Hyatt

Best Business Hotel in Singapore

1. Shangri-La
= Raffles Singapore
3. The Fullerton

Best Business Hotel in Sydney

  1. Park Hyatt
  2. Shangri-La
  3. InterContinental

Best Business Hotel in Taipei

  1. Shangri-La’s Far Eastern Plaza Hotel
  2. Grand Hyatt
  3. W Taipei

Best Business Hotel in Tokyo

  1. Grand Hyatt
  2. Shangri-La
  3. Conrad

Best Serviced Residence in Asia-Pacific

  1. Oakwood Premier AMTD Singapore
  2. Ascott Raffles Place Singapore
  3. Fraser Suites Sydney

Best Serviced Residence Brand in Asia-Pacific

  1. Ascott
  2. Frasers Hospitality Group
  3. Oakwood

SOURCE: Business Traveller

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