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Thai Airways announces extra repatriation flights for European and Asian cities

Maya Taylor

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Thai Airways announces extra repatriation flights for European and Asian cities | Thaiger
PHOTO: KN Aviation

The executive vice president of Thai Airways, Wiwat Piyawiroj, says the national carrier is introducing 18 repatriation flights to cities in Asia and Europe. The flights will permit additional foreign nationals in Thailand to return to their home countries, while also allowing repatriating Thais or eligible foreigners to return to the Kingdom on the return flights.

The flights are aimed primarily at students and business travellers coming to Thailand, as well as foreign tourists who need to return home. On July 31 Thai Immigration extended the visa amnesty to September 26, saying this would likely be the last extension to the amnesty on stranded tourists or foreigners whose visas had expired during the past 6 months, and not renewed.

The European flights will serve Munich, Frankfurt, London, Paris, and Copenhagen. The Asian flights will serve Taipei and Hong Kong. Tickets will be one-way only and the carrier says seat availability is limited. All flights will also carry cargo.

Wiwat adds that the airline is working with Thailand’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs to help bring stranded Thais home. Earlier this week, the national carrier flew 216 Thai nationals back from Hong Kong. He says anyone who wishes to return to the Kingdom from one of the cities listed must contact their nearest Thai embassy prior to booking.

• The European schedule will see 1 flight leaving for Munich on September 11, while 2 will head to Frankfurt on September 18 and 30. There will be 3 flights to London, on September 13, 20, and 27, and 2 to Paris on September 17 and 29. There will also be 2 flights to Copenhagen on September 13 and 27.

• The Asian schedule includes 4 flights to Taipei on September 4, 10, 18, and 25, as well as 4 flights to Hong Kong on September 9, 16, 23 and 30.

Meanwhile Thai Airways continues to operate under a dark cloud of controversy, reports of systemic and long-term corruption at the highest levels, bankruptcy proceedings and a generational restructure of the failed business.

SOURCE: Bangkok Post

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3 Comments

3 Comments

  1. Avatar

    Gary

    Thursday, September 3, 2020 at 11:53 am

    Government needs to quickly advise who is eligible so arrangements can be made.

    • Avatar

      Mark Hamill-Stewart

      Thursday, September 3, 2020 at 10:07 pm

      The London flights were booked within 2 minutes of being available on 31st August. This is not therefore news. There are 3000 people trying to get the 150 seats per month!

  2. Avatar

    Terry

    Saturday, September 5, 2020 at 12:20 pm

    with bankruptcy, corruption and mismanagement I wouldn’t trust that Airline or their planes at all!

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Coronavirus (Covid-19)

Aviation authority calling for 20,000 vaccine doses for crew, ground staff

Maya Taylor

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Aviation authority calling for 20,000 vaccine doses for crew, ground staff | Thaiger
PHOTO: Christian Junker on Flickr

The Civil Aviation Authority of Thailand is calling for vaccine doses to protect around 20,000 airline crew and ground staff before the country re-opens to international tourists. The CAAT says it’s vital that those working in the aviation industry are protected and has submitted its request to the Centre for Covid-19 Situation Administration.

According to Suthipong Kongpool from the CAAT, there are around 20,000 airline employees, including crew and ground staff, who will need to be vaccinated. As 2 doses are required, a total of 40,000 doses are needed to fully protect staff. The Bangkok Post reports that the CAAT will meet on Thursday to review the aviation sector’s readiness for when the country re-opens without international arrivals having to quarantine.

Suthipong says they are seeking enough vaccine doses to protect employees of Thai-registered carriers.

“It’s a confidence-building measure for tourists and those providing the services to them.”

From July, the southern island of Phuket will be the first part of the country to waive quarantine for vaccinated international arrivals, subject to 70% of local residents being vaccinated. The “sandbox” project is a pilot programme that will be expanded to other areas if it proves successful. Between October and the end of the year, 5 other provinces – Phang Nga, Surat Thani, Krabi, Chon Buri, and Chiang Mai – are expected to adopt the programme. Officials hope to be able to re-open the country fully from January 2022.

According to the CAAT, the first foreign visitors expected to return to Phuket will be Chinese tourists, given that country’s success in managing the pandemic. Meanwhile, the CAAT says Thailand will see a 7% increase in air traffic this month compared to last, with a total of 36,150 domestic and international flights.

SOURCE: Bangkok Post

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Labour union angry over changes to Thai Airways staff contracts under rehab plan

Maya Taylor

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Labour union angry over changes to Thai Airways staff contracts under rehab plan | Thaiger
PHOTO: Wikimedia

Union representatives are questioning changes made to the employment terms of Thai Airways staff as part of the national carrier’s debt-restructuring plan. The labour union claims the changes have removed or diluted several staff entitlements and welfare benefits, pointing the finger at acting president, Chansin Treenuchagron, who signed the orders.

The union is calling on the Department of Labour Protection and Welfare to review the changes to check if they align with a debt-restructuring plan submitted to the Central Bankruptcy Court. According to a Bangkok Post report, the union believes the signed orders may go against the terms of the rehab plan currently being reviewed by creditors. They include an order related to the company’s new organisational structure, as well as the screening of workers who will continue to be employed by the carrier during and after the rehab process.

Union representatives accuse the airline of changing the terms and conditions of employee contracts, meaning weaker welfare benefits. They are asking the DLPW to confirm if the changes comply with the 1940 Bankruptcy Act, the 1975 Labour Relations Act, and the 1998 Labour Protection Act. The union says that if the changes are found to violate the acts, Chansin should be ordered to cancel the orders and draw up new employment terms that comply with the airline’s rehab plan and with employment law.

SOURCE: Bangkok Post

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Leader of Thai cryptocurrency exchange warns regulators about tight restrictions

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Leader of Thai cryptocurrency exchange warns regulators about tight restrictions | Thaiger
Stock photo by André François McKenzie for Unsplash

The co-founder of Thailand’s largest cryptocurrency exchange has slammed regulators for plans to set requirements that would limit who can trade cryptocurrency. Following a drastic spike in domestic crypto trading, Thailand’s Securities and Exchange Commission, decided to look into tighter restrictions and say traders will be soon required to have experience, be educated in trading or pass an exam.

Too many regulations will push some Thais away, according to 33 year old Atichanan Pulges, co-founder and CFO of Bitkub. He warns that too many restrictions might drive amateur traders to unregulated international platforms in other countries.

Atichanan told Bloomberg that these restrictions will do little to stem the increasing popularity of cryptocurrencies in Thailand. The SEC’s restrictions were proposed in response to an unprecedented surge in crypto trading beginning in November 2020. According to the SEC’s own data, crypto-trading in Thailand jumped six fold from 18 billion baht in November to 124 billion baht in February. Bitkub themselves reported a daily turnover of 4.2 billion baht throughout February, a jump of nearly 40% from the previous month.

Thai authorities continue to struggle with the increasing popularity of cryptocurrencies, as they strive to balance embracing innovation with protecting investors. The SEC recently walked back potential restrictions which would have limited crypto purchases to those with a minimum income of 1 million baht after public backlash. Instead, they’ve proposed a program to educate potential investors of the risks involved in investing in the notoriously volatile crypto market.

Undeterred by any potential regulations, Bitkub – who claim to host around 90% of crypto trading in Thailand – have announced plans to expand over the coming year, aiming to double their current staff to 500 and introduce their own debit card. The company is also aiming to achieve the coveted ‘unicorn’ status (a private valuation of more than $1 billion) at some point in the near future.

SOURCE: Bloomberg

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