Nok Air hit by widespread flight delays amid technical issues

Photo courtesy of Bangkok Post

A recent surge in delayed flights by Nok Air sparked widespread discussion about the airline‘s on-time performance (OTP).

Passengers’ experiences of these delays were brought to light this week when renowned television reporter Thapanee Eadsrichai shared on Facebook that many passengers on a Nok Air flight from Don Mueang Airport to Chiang Mai had to be relocated to other flights due to issues. Other passengers also reported online about similar instances of flight delays, disrupting their work and travel schedules.

Nok Air’s CEO, Wutthiphum Jurangkool, acknowledged the technical issues affecting some of their aircraft since Friday. One of the airline’s ten active jets, a Boeing 737-800, suffered lightning damage and required a three-day maintenance period. Adverse weather conditions on November 17 also affected flights to Chiang Rai and Hat Yai, with the latter having to return to Don Mueang, leading to significant flight rescheduling over the weekend.

Despite collaborating with other low-cost carriers such as Thai AirAsia and Thai Lion Air to assist in relocating passengers to alternate flights, Wutthiphum admitted that this solution might not satisfy all affected passengers. He revealed that two of Nok Air’s jets had been inactive for the last ten days for regular maintenance, bringing the utilisation rate of operational aircraft to approximately 11 hours daily, below the maximum rate.

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Wutthiphum also acknowledged that the recent incidents impacting passengers were due to urgent safety-related issues requiring machine part replacements. Nok Air has reported these incidents to Thailand’s Civil Aviation Authority and remains committed to maintaining its OTP above 80%, a standard the airline has upheld since the beginning of the year. The airline is currently executing a rehabilitation plan approved by the Central Bankruptcy Court on November 29, 2021.

OTP typically measures the time of an aircraft’s arrival at the gate, which should not deviate more than 15 minutes from the scheduled time. In October, ANA and Japan Airlines achieved the highest OTP rates in Asia-Pacific at 85.1% and 83.9% respectively, according to Cirium aviation analytics. Thai AirAsia had previously claimed the top spot in September with an OTP rate of 87.5%, reported Bangkok Post.

Last month, travel data provider OAG reported that Bangkok Airways had the highest OTP rate at 84.1%, followed by Thai Smile Airways (83.5%), Thai Lion Air (80.8%), Thai Airways International (77.6%) and Thai AirAsia X (72.2%).

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Alex Morgan

Alex is a 42-year-old former corporate executive and business consultant with a degree in business administration. Boasting over 15 years of experience working in various industries, including technology, finance, and marketing, Alex has acquired in-depth knowledge about business strategies, management principles, and market trends. In recent years, Alex has transitioned into writing business articles and providing expert commentary on business-related issues. Fluent in English and proficient in data analysis, Alex strives to deliver well-researched and insightful content to readers, combining practical experience with a keen analytical eye to offer valuable perspectives on the ever-evolving business landscape.

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