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Questions arise about costs of military helicopters

The Thaiger

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Questions arise about costs of military helicopters | The Thaiger

In the wake of the tragic crash of King Power supremo Vichai Srivaddhanaprabha’s personal helicopter last Saturday evening (UK time), an unintended story has emerged about the costs of the model of his helicopter, the same model used by the Royal Thai Army.

Srisuwan Janya, a ‘transparency activist’, according to Khaosod English, has dug into the accounts books and found that the military paid almost three times as much as Vichai for the same model. He notes that the helicopter model flown by Vichai’s pilot was newer so should have been more expensive.

Srisuwan calculated that the Thai military paid nearly three times as much for older models. Vichai’s helicopter was an AW169 made by Italian defense firm Leonardo.

“It cost Vichai about 280 million baht,” according to the report in Khaosod. “It raises a lot of suspicions.”

According to Srisuwan, when the Thai army bought 12 helicopters of a more outdated type from Leonardo between 2012 and 2017, it paid 675-737 million baht for each. These are the amounts as published by the Thai armed forces and quoted by Srisuwan.

Srisuwan says he is filing a formal complaint to the Thai national auditor’s office about the cost disparities.

In response to the story a Defense Ministry spokesman, Kongcheep Tantravanich, says there is a difference between civilian and military models that model helicopter, explaining the difference in price.

“They have different functions,” Maj. Gen. Kongcheep said in the Khaosod article.

A military-outfitted AW139 helicopter, the same model bought by the Thai army, reportedly sold for about 348 million baht in 2013, according to Aviation International News.

The military says it will respond in full when the complaint is lodged.

Questions arise about costs of military helicopters | News by The Thaiger



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Business

Foreigners will be allowed to serve as arbitrators – NLA votes

The Thaiger & The Nation

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Foreigners will be allowed to serve as arbitrators – NLA votes | The Thaiger

The National Legislative Assembly (NLA) has voted to pass the draft amended Arbitration Act in its first reading which will allow foreigners to serve as arbitrators in Thailand.

The NLA yesterday voted 139-0 with 2 abstentions to pass the bill amending the 2002 Arbitration Act in its first reading.

Deputy PM Wissanu Krea-ngam, who presented the draft bill, told legislators that the amendment would upgrade the arbitration process in Thailand by allowing foreign nationals to serve as independent arbitrators if necessary.

He said that it would streamline the process to end disputes and civil cases more quickly.

Arbitration is the process of bringing a business dispute before a disinterested third party for resolution. The third party, an arbitrator, hears the evidence brought by both sides and makes a decision.

The NLA set up a vetting committee to review the bill within 30 days before submitting it to the NLA to consider in the second and third readings.

Foreigners will be allowed to serve as arbitrators - NLA votes | News by The Thaiger

STORY: The Nation

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Business

No tickets. No travel agents. Back in 2001 the new Air Asia was a gamble.

The Thaiger

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No tickets. No travel agents. Back in 2001 the new Air Asia was a gamble. | The Thaiger

Stepping onto an Air Asia plane these days, or one of its regional affiliates, it’s hard to imagine that back in 2001, ex-music business executive had to mortgage his house and raise venture capital to buy a failed airline. That new airline would revolutionize the aviation business.

Re-lanching it as Air Asia, the airline has re-shaped the Asian aviation industry and spawned a generation of copy-cat budget wannabes that are trying to emulate the Air Asia success story.

Tony Fernandez said there would be no tickets and no travel agents. Bookings would all be handled ‘online’. Most pundits thought he was insane. But that was only the start his ideas to re-shape the airline business.

TechWireAsia reports on the rise and rise of the Air Asia model and how it has changed the way we fly around the region…

“In the age of digital transformation, companies either hop onto the latest technology bandwagon willingly or are forced to adopt modern approaches because of customer demands and competitive market forces.

But Malaysia’s low-cost airline AirAsia was born with a desire to be digital-first — even though it wasn’t a digital native to begin with.

AirAsia’s coming of age story is a well-documented one and a real-life case of having champagne tastes on a beer-bottle budget.

In 2001, former Warner Music executive Tony Fernandes – now AirAsia Group CEO – made the ultimate business leap. He mortgaged his house, convinced a group of investors to buy an ailing airline for a quarter of a million US dollar and set out to relaunch it as Asia’s first budget carrier.

Backed by a childhood dream to own an airline and zero experience in the aviation world, Fernandes proved his naysayers wrong. Today, AirAsia has smashed numerous firsts to hold the crown as the world’s best low-cost airline, winning the prestigious Skytrax title every single year in the past decade.”

Read the rest of the story from TechWireAsia HERE.

No tickets. No travel agents. Back in 2001 the new Air Asia was a gamble. | News by The Thaiger

Virgin’s Richard Branson (the pretty one on the left) after losing a bet with Air Asia’s Tony Fernandez

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Business

Well Hotels signs new Pattaya resort on Phratamnak Hill

The Thaiger

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Well Hotels signs new Pattaya resort on Phratamnak Hill | The Thaiger

Well Hotels & Resorts has announced the signing of a management contract for a new boutique property that will be branded Phratamnak Well Resort Pattaya.

The property is set to open in late 2019 with 78 rooms and suites.

According to the agreement, Well Hotels & Resorts will take on the responsibility for the pre-opening and full operational management.

Phratamnak Well Resort Pattaya, owned by the Kasetsinn company, is located in the up-scale Phratamnak area, a short walk from the beach, close to the Royal Varuna Yacht Club and Pattaya Hill Top.

Phratamnak Well Resort Pattaya is the fourth property under the management of Well Hotels & Resorts, after it took over the management of Well Hotel Bangkok Sukhumvit 20 in 2016, followed by Costa Well Resort Pattaya in Bang Saray and White Sand Beach Residences Pattaya in Na Jomtien.

Well Hotels signs new Pattaya resort on Phratamnak Hill | News by The Thaiger

SOURCE: ttrweekly.com

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