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

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

    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

      September 26, 2020 at 8:32 am

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

    • Avatar

      mario

      September 26, 2020 at 8:47 am

      great idea

    • Avatar

      Randall

      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

      September 26, 2020 at 10:06 am

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

    • Avatar

      Whiro

      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

        September 26, 2020 at 9:29 pm

        You’re wasted in Thailand.

        • Avatar

          Whiro

          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

      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

    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

    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

    September 26, 2020 at 9:32 am

    ‘flights to nowhere’

    does anyone wonder how this airline went bankrupt?

  5. Avatar

    Jason

    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

      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

    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

      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

    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

    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

      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

    September 27, 2020 at 10:01 pm

    Give us our money back Thai airways.

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Crime

Anti-Corruption Commission official sentenced for pointing loaded gun at taxi driver

Caitlin Ashworth

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Anti-Corruption Commission official sentenced for pointing loaded gun at taxi driver | The Thaiger
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A National Anti-Corruption Commission senior official was sentenced by the Criminal Court to 1 year in jail with a 2 year suspension for pointing a loaded .38 Colt pistol, threatening a Bangkok taxi driver back in 2018. Nation Thailand called it a “very lenient” sentence.

The assistant secretary general of the commission, 54 year old Piset Nakapan, must also pay a fine of 31,000 baht. He was charged with weapon in violation of Section 309 of the Criminal Code, carrying a weapon in public, threatening others, and violating the Firearms Act.

Footage from the taxi’s dashboard camera shows Piset getting out of his car and pointing the loaded gun at the taxi. He said to the driver, Pipat Seesa-on, “Why are you following me? Drive back and use another road.”

At the trail, Piset confessed to the charges and gave Pipat 2,000 baht as compensation. Since he confessed, the court commuted his sentence in half, cutting down the 2 year jail term to just a year and a 62,000 baht fine down to 31,000 baht. His jail term is suspended for 2 years, with mandatory probation check-ins every 4 months.

SOURCES: Nation Thailand | Bangkok Post

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Tourism

Some tourism officials concerned with political climate, ask government to open dialogue

Caitlin Ashworth

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Some tourism officials concerned with political climate, ask government to open dialogue | The Thaiger

In the midst of Thailand reopening its borders to foreigners on the Special Tourist Visa, political protests have only grown in Bangkok and are now being held in cities across Thailand. Now tourism operators are worried and are asking the government to engage in dialogue with the protesters. President of the Tourism Council of Thailand Chairat Trirattanajarasporn says he’s worried about another coup (Thailand’s had 12 since 1932) being used to solve the problems rather than talking it out.

“If the situation’s gone too far, I am concerned a coup will worsen the economy and affect the country’s image on the global stage… A coup is not the ultimate solution to the problem.”

Now that the protests are spreading across the country, Chairat says some tourist destinations could be impacted. In Bangkok, traffic has been blocked on busy intersections by thousands of protesters. BTS and MRT stations have also been shut down during some protests. He adds that people also tend to save their money during times of protest movements rather than spending it on trips.

“At this moment, the government has to show protesters and Thais the improvements they have brought about during the past 6 years, instead of harassing them for speaking up.”

On the flip side, Tourism Authority of Thailand governor Yuthasak Supasorn says he’s checked with TAT’s 29 overseas offices that have been monitoring international feedback and no one has reported concerns with Thailand’s political climate, adding that the visitors on the Special Tourist Visa are sticking with their plans to travel to Thailand.

“It is too early to assess the impact on tourism as mass gatherings have occurred recently and there has been no violence.”

SOURCE: Bangkok Post

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Thailand

Thailand News Today | Media censorship, Thai parliament to meet, STV flight arrives | October 20

The Thaiger

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Thailand News Today | Media censorship, Thai parliament to meet, STV flight arrives | October 20 | The Thaiger

Thaiger News, posted daily around 5pm, Thai time, with all the latest updates, news and information.

Court orders suspension of Thai TV news channel during political protests

The Criminal Court has agreed to suspend the Thai media company Voice TV for allegedly violating the State of Emergency orders which prohibit media content “considered to be a threat to national security”.

Talk about the Voice TV shut down has been circulating for a few days, along with threats to close down other media voices. It’s not the first time Voice TV has come to the attention of the NCPO, in the past, and the current government.

The digital ministry spokesperson said this morning that “Voice TV will be suspended”. The order applies to all of the company’s online platforms, including social media accounts.

They’ve also instructed the closure of The Standard, The Reporters, Voice TV, Prachatai and the Free Youth movement Facebook page. But, for now, those media platforms still seem to be online.

House Speaker confirms agreement for special parliamentary session

The Speaker of the lower house of Parliament has confirmed that there is cross-party agreement for an extraordinary parliamentary session to be convened in the wake of the ongoing political unrest.

Chuan Leekpai has notified PM Prayut Chan-o-cha of the agreement to hold the special session in a bid to seek a political resolution to the conflict.

In his letter to the PM, Chuan calls on the cabinet to back the declaration of a special session. He proposes an initial general debate so MPs and senators can express their opinions and work towards a solution to the current impasse. The PM has already voiced his support for an extraordinary session of parliament.

Meanwhile, a number of opposition figures are calling for the state of emergency imposed on Bangkok to be lifted, declaring its implementation illegal and unnecessary.

Jailed Thai activists, protest leaders, pro-democracy doctor, released on bail

Thailand’s Appeal Court has granted bail to a number of anti-government protesters and protest leaders, on condition there is no repeat of the offences they’re accused of. Sort of doubt that’s going to stick.

They must also report to the court every 2 weeks. Protesters have been charged with sedition, violating the Covid-19 emergency decree by holding an illegal gathering, using an amplifier without authority to do so, and breaking the Computer Crimes Act.

Yesterday’s three “pop up” protests were held outside of central Bangkok and again surprised police. The protest gatherings all attracted up to 2,000 people each and were held, and then dispersed, peacefully, without police intervention.

Police threaten jail time for anyone taking selfies at protests

The State of Emergency recently imposed on Bangkok amid escalating political unrest carries some sweeping powers, some of them targeting the younger, connected mobile generation.

Police are warning that anyone taking a selfie at anti-government protests is risking 2 years in jail and a fine of up to 40,000 baht.

The emergency decree is being invoked in everything, from the arrests of protesters and their leaders, to the threat of restrictions being slapped on media outlets whose reporting is deemed unfavourable.

41 foreign tourists to arrive in Bangkok today on Special Tourist Visa after 7 month ban

Just 41 foreign tourists are expected to arrive in Bangkok today under the special tourist visa. A small, yet major step forward after a 7 month ban on international tourists which was put in place in late-March.

The visa allows a 90 day stay that can be renewed twice, adding up to about 9 months. But the tourists departing from Shanghai, China and arriving in Bangkok’s Suvarnabhumi Airport at 5pm, allegedly, will only be in Thailand for 30 days, and that includes their 14 day quarantine.

The flight arriving today was first going to have 120 to 150 tourists, but now it’s down to just 41. We’ll soon know if they actually arrived. Never before has the arrival of so few tourists kicked up such interest.

Pickup truck crashes into elephant as herd runs across Chon Buri road

A herd of wild elephants running across a road in Chon Buri caused a driver to crash into one of the elephants, damaging his Isuzu pickup truck and injuring the passenger.

The man says he was heading to the province’s Ban Ang Kraden district when a group of about 20 elephants ran out of the forest and cut in front of his truck. He says he couldn’t stop in time and crashed into one of the elephants.

The injured animal didn’t stop and continued to run across the road, following the rest of the herd into the forest. Local officials are tracking the elephant’s footprints to find the injured elephant and provide medical treatment. The 20 year old passenger was rushed to hospital and is in a satisfactory condition.

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