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Flights to nowhere. The latest ‘cunning plan’ by Thai Airways

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Sort of counter-intuitive, but you get on a plane, take off, and land at the same airport. Not usually the way it’s meant to work, but that’s the latest brain child of the Thai Airways management, via their budget Thai Smile brand, who are already back in the air.

The idea is to offer people who have missed the experience of flying to get back into the sky and fly around for a few hours, including an airline meal (because we know HOW much you’ve missed those!), and then return back to the airport they took off from. We hate to remind the braintrust at Thai Airways that you can already get that experience on an aeroplane, and actually go somewhere at the moment. Then again, as a novelty, it might just get a few takers.

The national carrier has gone from being a much-loved flag bearer to a national disgrace as decades of mismanagement have racked up debt totalling 352.4 billion baht. Rather than reaching back into their pockets again, the Thai government sold off a number of shares and sent the company for a major restructure and bankruptcy proceedings.

The ailing airline’s management have already launched pop-up cafes at the Bangkok HQ for a grounded ‘flight’ experience, complete with aircraft seating and an airline meal, but the new joy flights will use more of the current unused resources, including planes and staff, and flight training simulators.

Australia’s QANTAS Airways launched the same idea earlier this month, also called the “flight to nowhere” and discovered it was one of the fastest-selling flights in the airline’s history. All the tickets snapped up in 10 minutes with passengers throwing between A$575 and A$2,765 at seats on the Boeing 787.

The Aussie flag carrier launched a 7 hour scenic route around the country, taking off and landing in Sydney, as the usual schedule of flights around the country remains restricted.

The flights are on October 10, the flight won’t stop anywhere, but gives passengers the change to enjoy views over Uluru, the Great Barrier Reef, and other landmarks.

There were 134 seats up for grabs on the Boeing 787 aircraft, priced between depending on the class of ticket.

Thai Airways is preparing to operate its own ‘flights to nowhere’ and ‘rides’ in the airlies’ flight simulator under a program called ‘Thai Flying Experience & Beyond’.

Thai Airways is going through the permissions from the Civil Aviation Authority of Thailand to conduct the scenic aircraft ‘flights to nowhere’ .

A Thai Smile Airbus A320 will be in use for the flight which would include the beautiful aerial scenery of popular tourist destinations across the country such as Phra That Doi Suthep in Chiang Mai.

The ‘Thai Flying Experience & Beyond’ flights to nowhere program features 3 packages starting from 16,000 – 36,000 baht. For the flight simulator experience budding pilots can select their preferred aircraft between Airbus A380, Boeing 777-300ER, Boeing B747-400, and Boeing 737-400. The ‘flight to nowhere’ would approximately cost about 5,000 baht/person.

“Thai Airways has come up with this idea to adjust itself and to earn more income during the financial crisis. We believed that both programs would catch public attention especially for those who would like to try sitting and flying in an aviator operating room.”

By the way, if you’re in Australia and want to participate in a slightly colder round trip, QANTAS is running “joy flights” to Antarctica.

Planes, originally delivered to fly UK-Australia non-stop are being redeployed on the 13 hour roundtrip from Melbourne. Passengers are paying from A$1,199 for the flight to the frozen continent and back. Around one-third of it spent above the Antarctic continent.

 

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20 Comments

20 Comments

  1. Avatar

    Gary

    Saturday, September 26, 2020 at 8:31 am

    Why not have the stranded tourists buy these flights, have them check out through immigration, fly outside the territorial limit and when they land back in Bangkok, process through immigration and get a new 30 day tourist visa?

    • The Thaiger & The Nation

      The Thaiger & The Nation

      Saturday, September 26, 2020 at 8:32 am

      Now there’s some lateral thinking! You’re hired as the new Immigration Chief

    • Avatar

      mario

      Saturday, September 26, 2020 at 8:47 am

      great idea

    • Avatar

      Randall

      Saturday, September 26, 2020 at 10:03 am

      Great idea! Thai Airways should know about that, then they could sell it to the government.

    • Avatar

      Randall

      Saturday, September 26, 2020 at 10:06 am

      Great idea! Thai Airways should know about that. They could promote it to the government.

    • Avatar

      Whiro

      Saturday, September 26, 2020 at 5:25 pm

      Sounds like a Mae Sai border run.
      You get on a plane instead of a bus or your bike.

      Gary, it’s a great idea.
      BUT, how do you know they won’t force you to be on 14 DAY QUARANTINE when you land back in BKK. You know they will :))

      • Avatar

        rinky stingpiece

        Saturday, September 26, 2020 at 9:29 pm

        You’re wasted in Thailand.

        • Avatar

          Whiro

          Monday, September 28, 2020 at 9:17 pm

          Wasted ???
          Nope, I don’t drink.
          Nope, I am not in Thailand anymore, I flew out before Sept 26th deadline after thanking Thailand for 6 months of free visa extension.

          I am in Japan enjoying their hospitality and fresh Sushi and yummy ramen noodles, not Thai Airways in flight food :))

    • Avatar

      Mike

      Monday, September 28, 2020 at 10:35 pm

      Good idea – except only the airline stands to make money. It doesn’t give enough opportunity for lazy fatties to take their cut.

  2. Avatar

    Ssm

    Saturday, September 26, 2020 at 8:51 am

    Some folk have money to waste to get in a metal tube and then to return to same place few hours later

  3. Avatar

    Toby Andrews

    Saturday, September 26, 2020 at 9:23 am

    Yes good idea Gary. And it would not violate any bans, plus the passenger would be entitled to buy duty frees

  4. Avatar

    Glenn

    Saturday, September 26, 2020 at 9:32 am

    ‘flights to nowhere’

    does anyone wonder how this airline went bankrupt?

  5. Avatar

    Jason

    Saturday, September 26, 2020 at 9:46 am

    Credit where it’s due. Singapore Airlines came up with the idea, QANTAS adopted it and now Thai Airways is doing the same. Not such a crazy idea when it keeps planes flying, pilots keep their hours up and crew get some work.

    • Avatar

      Issan John

      Saturday, September 26, 2020 at 12:24 pm

      Exactly. If people are prepared to pay, as they are elsewhere, then “why not”, however weird it may appear to others.

  6. Avatar

    freestylefletcher

    Saturday, September 26, 2020 at 11:38 am

    Flights to nowhere? Isn’t it great that the world is finally taking global warming seriously…

    • Avatar

      Peter T

      Saturday, September 26, 2020 at 3:22 pm

      Glad someone thought of the planet. Maybe increased smog levels in Bangkok with suppress the virus?

  7. Avatar

    Perceville Smithers

    Saturday, September 26, 2020 at 1:07 pm

    This is like paying to “look but don’t touch”

    I Can’t Go For That
    No Can Do

  8. Avatar

    Jan Sweden

    Saturday, September 26, 2020 at 2:29 pm

    Great idea! Let all those foreigners spend their money on this and fly out and go through immigration again and get a new stamp.
    I will do that for sure
    Instead of spending 12 hours waiting in line in immigration to get a extension…
    Please fix this and I will book a flight right away to get a new immigration stamp.
    Much easier and good solution.. everyone wins.

    • Avatar

      Whiro

      Monday, September 28, 2020 at 9:19 pm

      they will put you on 14 day quarantine when you land back in BKK :))

  9. Avatar

    David White

    Sunday, September 27, 2020 at 10:01 pm

    Give us our money back Thai airways.

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Thailand

Saturday Covid UPDATE: 2,419 new infections and 19 deaths, provincial totals

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Stock photo by Mufid Majnun for Unsplash

The tally for Covid-related infections and deaths reported over the past 24 hours reports 19 new deaths and 2,419 cases. There have been 52,411 confirmed Covid-19 infections in the recent outbreak with more than 16,000 cases in Bangkok, the epicentre of infections. Since the start of the pandemic last year, the Centre for Covid-19 Situation Administration has reported a total of 81,274 Covid-19 infections and 382 coronavirus-related deaths.

Thailand now has 29,473 active Covid-19 cases. Most patients with Covid-19 are asymptomatic or have mild symptoms. More than 1,000 Covid-19 patients are in critical condition including 380 people on ventilators.

Out of the 2,419 new cases, more than 1,000 cases were detected in Bangkok. Most cases were local transmissions or detected through active case finding.

Of the 19 new coronavirus-related deaths, most were in Bangkok and surrounding provinces. The majority of deaths were the elderly and many of them contracted the virus from infected family members or friends.

Over the past week, new clusters of Covid-19 infections have been detected in crowded Bangkok neighbourhoods, including the Klong Toey slum, Ban Khing and Bang Kae districts. Poor communities in Bangkok have been seen as vulnerable to coronavirus outbreaks as people live in close proximity to each other and many cannot afford to stop working to abide by stay-at-home orders. CCSA spokesperson Natapanu Nopakun says active case finding in Bangkok clusters have been “beefed up.”

With cases in Bangkok still on the rise, the current disease control measures imposed in the capital will be extended until May 17. Schools and entertainment venues must remain closed.

Provincial totals, thanks to the NBT…

Saturday Covid UPDATE: 2,419 new infections and 19 deaths, provincial totals | News by ThaigerSaturday Covid UPDATE: 2,419 new infections and 19 deaths, provincial totals | News by ThaigerSaturday Covid UPDATE: 2,419 new infections and 19 deaths, provincial totals | News by ThaigerSaturday Covid UPDATE: 2,419 new infections and 19 deaths, provincial totals | News by ThaigerSaturday Covid UPDATE: 2,419 new infections and 19 deaths, provincial totals | News by ThaigerSaturday Covid UPDATE: 2,419 new infections and 19 deaths, provincial totals | News by ThaigerDistricts in Bangkok with the highest number of confirmed cases…

District New cases
Khlong Toey 37
Ratchathewi 26
Pathumwan 24
Bang Kapi 13
Chatuchak 11
Don Mueang 9
Lat Phrao 9
Dusit 8
Yan Nawa 7
Wang Thonglang 7

Saturday Covid UPDATE: 2,419 new infections and 19 deaths, provincial totals | News by Thaiger

 

Saturday Covid UPDATE: 2,419 new infections and 19 deaths, provincial totals | News by Thaiger

Active Covid-19 cases in Thailand as of 7 May 2021, according to Worldometers.

 

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Coronavirus (Covid-19)

Covid-19: Thailand struggles with South and Southeast Asia

Neill Fronde

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FILE PHOTO: Thailand struggles with its devastating third wave of Covid-19

In 2020, Thailand was hailed worldwide for its iron-fisted lockdown that curbed Covid-19 spread almost completely. Thailand was the second country in the world after China to identify a Covid-19 infection in January of last year but managed to keep its numbers impressively low, at least until December’s second wave of outbreaks. That wave drove the numbers up to nearly 29,000 Covid-19 infections in a nation of more than 69 million people, from the onset of Covid-19 in 2020 to the end of March 2021. But its devastating third wave struck in April and in just 5 weeks that number has more than doubled to above 76,000 Covid-19 infections.

Daily infection rates are now hovering around 2,000 per day with 1,911 reported yesterday. When a new Covid-19 cluster was identified in the elite nightclub scene of Bangkok’s Thonglor district, 196 entertainment venues were closed for 2 weeks. But as the virus spread throughout the nation the closures followed too and soon all nightlife venues were closed indefinitely. As infections grew, the Thai New Year came and while most Songkran activities and events were cancelled, many people still went on holiday to cities or beaches or travelled to be with their families in their hometowns. Despite warnings and attempts at contact tracing and testing, Covid-19 infections surged in Thailand after the holiday.

With the influx of new infections, hospitals began to fill up quickly and waiting lists formed to obtain a hospital bed. The government required anyone in Thailand who tested positive for Covid-19 to be immediately admitted to hospital for observation and treatment. This may have done more harm than good as there were reports of Bangkok hospitals refusing to administer Covid-19 tests because they didn’t have the capacity to take in any patient that came back positive.

Field hospitals have been set up using conference centres and sports arenas, and the country launched a plea for hotels to convert into “hospitels” – a hospital-hotel hybrid that could treat asymptomatic and low-needs patients and free up space for those in need of more intense medical care.

Vaccination has been slow and the government has come under frequent fire for their inefficient roll out. Confusion is constant with conflicting reports of deals being reached with vaccine manufacturers, delays in shipments and domestic manufacturing, questions about how to get a vaccine, and whether or not foreigners and expats in Thailand are even eligible for Covid-19 vaccination and at what cost.

This week the government push to vaccinate 50,000 people in core and dense areas in Bangkok after an outbreak of 300 new cases in the neighbourhood. But as of now, only 2 out of every 100 people have been vaccinated for Covid-19 in Thailand, a discouraging statistic when even India, in the midst of its catastrophic outbreak, has vaccinated 12 people out of every 100.

Here’s how Thailand compares to ASEAN members and neighbouring countries:

COUNTRY CASES PER 1M (Wikipedia) AT LEAST 1 DOSE
Worldwide 20,072 8.11%
Brunei 515 2.45%
Cambodia 1,153 9.61%
India 15,796 9.5%
Indonesia 6,359 4.76%
Laos 165 1.73%
Malaysia 13,071 2.83%
Maldives 89,035 (pop. < 1m) 55.53%
Myanmar 2,629 1.84%
Nepal 12,287 7.18%
Philippines 9,957 1.63%
Singapore 10,745 23.32%
Sri Lanka 5,477 4.33%
Thailand 1,186 1.72%
Vietnam 32 0.69%

Read about the current Covid-19 situation in countries around South and Southeast Asia: Cambodia, India, Indonesia, The Maldives, Nepal, Sri Lanka and Thailand.

SOURCE: CNN

 

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Thailand

American arrested for alleged murder in Chiang Mai has past record of abuse in Colorado

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Photo via Facebook/ตำรวจภูธรจังหวัดน่าน

The American man who was recently arrested for allegedly murdering his pregnant Thai wife in Chiang Mai had been sentenced to 2 years of probation back in 2019 on assault charges after his gun went off while he was threatening a woman in Colorado. A report from the Associated Press says it appears to be the same woman.

Jason Matthew Balzer, 32, had initially faced attempted murder charges for assaulting a woman in Longmont, Colorado, but those charges were dropped. A Boulder District Attorney’s Office spokesperson told a local reporter in a previous report that “in every case, we need witnesses to testify at a trial. Unfortunately, due to issues with the victim’s availability, the higher charge had to be dismissed.”

The victim had called the police saying Jason had asked to have sex and then assaulted her when she said “no,” according to the arrest report. She told police he hit her face and slammed her head onto the bed’s headboard several times before taking out a revolver and threatening to kill her, the report says. The woman told police she pushed the gun and it went off near her head.

Balzer pled guilty to third-degree assault in December 2019 and was sentenced to 2 years of probation. In December 2020, Jason was arrested in Colorado after police allegedly found 73 guns in his van. Possession of firearms is a violation of probation. It’s unclear when Jason travelled to Thailand.

Since the case in Colorado involved a victim of domestic violence, the name was redacted in public court records, but a spokesperson for the District Attorney’s Office told AP reporters that the victim has the same name as the woman killed in Thailand. Based on photographs, the spokesperson says they appear to be the same person.

On Thursday, Jason was arrested in Chiang Mai. Reports say he confessed to stabbing and killing his wife, 32 year old Pitchaporn Kidchop, who was 3 months pregnant. Police say Jason sealed his wife’s body in a garbage bin before taking it to the woods about 5 kilometres away. In Thailand, a murder charge carries a maximum penalty of death.

Local police posted photos of the crime reenactment on Facebook. In Thailand, it is common for suspects to admit to crimes and reenactment the crimes to law enforcement officers and the press.

 

SOURCE: Time Call | Associated Press

 

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