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Competition amongst discount airlines concerns Thai CAA

Jack Burton

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PHOTO: Travel Daily (the photo is for display only and does not reflect on the airlines depicted)

Thailand’s airlines are strapped for cash, facing serious competition and discounted airfares, and the Thai Civil Aviation Authority is closely watching their safety standards. This from the CAAT director-general Chula Sukmanop.

Sukmanop says he’s worried because many airlines, especially budget carriers, are facing serious financial problems due to fierce competition on routes to main destinations like Chiang Mai and Phuket. Also under-performing new routes that have been kicked off this year.

Some airlines earn only 0.75 baht per kilometre.

“This is difficult to solve because it is business competition.”

“Many airlines show poor operating performance, jeopardising their services. Aviation authorities have warned endangered carriers to review their financial plans, and if the revised plans are unsatisfactory, CAAT will order them to reduce routes and flight frequencies.”

“Despite negative operating results, airlines must not compromise their maintenance and safety standards. Airlines must adjust their fleets and operating costs in order to protect passenger safety.”

Thailand’s national carrier Thai Airways posted a loss of 11 billion baht this year, for the first three quarters of 2019. The airline has posted almost a decade of quarterly losses as it grapples with its outdated aviation model and battles with an ageing fleet and top-heavy staffing.

SOURCE: Chiang Rai Times

 

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Jack Burton is an American writer, broadcaster, linguist and journalist who has lived in Asia since 1987. A native of the state of Georgia, he attended the The University of Georgia's Henry Grady School of Journalism, which hands out journalism's prestigious Peabody Awards. His works have appeared in The China Post, The South China Morning Post, The International Herald Tribune and many magazines throughout Asia and the world. He is fluent in Mandarin and has appeared on television and radio for decades in Taiwan, Mainland China, Hong Kong and Macau.

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