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Restoring faith to the national airline

The Thaiger

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Restoring faith to the national airline | The Thaiger

On October 8, a Thai Airways 747-400, with only 115 onboard including the crew, skidded off the runway at Suvarnabhumi International Airport. The story and photos reached around the world placing the embattled airline in a position to explain the incident. There were no fatalities and all passengers were safely evacuated and went about their holidays.

Since then the silence over the incident has been deafening.

The Thaiger, October 9 – “A Thai Airways International plane, inbound from Guangzhou, China skidded off a runway while landing at Suvarnabhumi Airport in heavy rain last night.

Flight Lieutenant Pratthana Pattanasirim, THAI’s director of security and flight standard division, said no one was injured when THAI Flight TG 679 skidded off the runway.

The Boeing 747-400 was carrying 97 passengers and 18 crew.

The Guangzhou-Bangkok flight left Guangzhou airport at 8.58pm (local time) and arrived at Suvarnabhumi at 10.48pm.

The passengers were safely transferred from the plane to the passenger terminal to wait for their luggage. THAI provided them snacks and drinks while they were waiting. Pratthana said the airline would urgently cooperate with other agencies to investigate the cause of the accident.”

The incident follows another ‘skidding’ incident in September 2013. In that case there was a poor attempt to ‘cover up’ the problem by spray painting the ‘Thai Airways’ name on the side of the A330 plane whilst the tail and livery colours, in all their purple splendour, were still in clear view.

“You could call it a coverup. Just hours after a Thai Airways jet skidded off a Bangkok runway last night, leading to the frantic evacuation of 288 passengers, workers painted over the plane’s distinctive purple and gold logo with black paint.” – The Guardian

Restoring faith to the national airline | News by The Thaiger

Since the skid-off-runway incident earlier this month, Thai Airways has been in a social media storm directed at two pilots who bumped paid passengers out of their first class seats on a Zurich to Bangkok flight. In this incident the pilots, the two on-duty pilots as well as the two off-duty pilots, have been instructed to say nothing. Meanwhile the Thai Airway union has criticised the two off-duty pilots for not considering the airline’s customers first.

In this incident, apart from a promise to look into the situation by the airline’s president, there has been no official statement from Thai over this matter either.

As Thai Airways keeps promising internal management changes, and reworking of its fleet-size and equipment, it may be time to bolster the PR department and work to re-assure the main customers, locals and expats who would love to support the national airline but find increasingly difficult to justify ‘going purple’ in the future.



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Opinion

“Racial profiling and xenophobic” – a rant against Dual Pricing

The Thaiger

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“Racial profiling and xenophobic” – a rant against Dual Pricing | The Thaiger

The rules are applied in a lumpy fashion at various tourist hot spots around the country as well as some national parks. Sometimes it’s applied, sometimes, not, sometimes there are signs, sometime they make it up as they go, sometimes they will allow local expats in for the Thai price.

There are dual-pricing apologists who say ‘Hey, it’s cheap anyway, so pay up and shut up’. Whilst dual-pricing whiners say it’s unfair, racist and shows a lack of grace towards tourists and foreigners.

Here’s the story from ‘Despondant Foreigner’. You can have your say on the post at our Facebook page

“I would like to share my story with you that happened to me this morning. I visited Promlok waterfall in Nakhon Si Thammaratt with my Thai wife, child and wife’s family. Upon arrival two soldiers approached our car and my wife began talking to them. They explained to her that as today is Songkran all Thai’s get to go to the waterfalls free of charge but I had to pay. Then a woman dressed in yellow approached the car who confirmed what the soldiers said and told my wife that this is a new law. Well we were all disgusted and proceeded to drive back down to the bottom of the waterfall where we could all swim for free.

I am absolutely disgusted by this. Yet another example of Thailand’s racial profiling and xenophobia towards foreigners. The fact that I am married and have children here doesn’t make a difference. Because I have white skin I must pay the fee whilst all Thais go in free.”

SOURCE: ThaiVisa

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Opinion

Fox News fake news, Phuket gets a bullet

Bill Barnett

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Fox News fake news, Phuket gets a bullet | The Thaiger

by Bill Barnett, C9Hotelworks.com

As Phuket moves slowly into low season, a story published in the international media by the US-based Fox News about how tourists could face the death penalty over taking photos at the island’s airport is a highly flaw piece of sensationalist fake news.

Clearly there is no likelihood that the Thai authorities will apply a legal maximum penalty under the Air Navigation Act for tourists posing for selfies as airplanes land. More likely would be a  charge of trespassing and a fine.

Clicking into Google this morning the story is now running with the New York Post, MSN and other news outlets abroad.

What is distressing is to see how news providers sensationalize Thailand and Phuket with little regard as to the consequences of the economic impact of such a story.

For most readers, what they will remember when reading such a piece is only the headline about Phuket, Mai Khao Beach and the death penalty.

What a sorry state of affairs mainstream news has become.

To read the Fox News article clock HERE.

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Election

Is Thanathorn the new Thaksin? Will the ‘establishment’ tolerate his new political vision?

The Thaiger

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Is Thanathorn the new Thaksin? Will the ‘establishment’ tolerate his new political vision? | The Thaiger

Is Future Forward Party leader Thanathorn Juangroongruangkit a popular fad or does he, and his party, have the staying power to make him a sustainable threat to the entrenched Thai political elite?

Many analysts are comparing Thanathorn to Thaksin in his early days. They say there are clear similarities. First off, Thanathorn is facing the kind of legal trouble that Thaksin faced when Thailand’s political crisis started to brew.

After becoming Thailand’s PM, Thaksin faced a share transfer scandal in which he moved his company shares to poor servants, allegedly to avoid stock market restrictions imposed on people owning big lots of stocks. Now, 40 year old Thanathorn is facing a legal controversy over his previous ownership of media shares, which could still doom his election candidacy.

The allegations are yet to be considered by the Election Commission.

Thaksin, in spite of repeated denials, was always alleged to have controversial political ambitions. Thanathorn, meanwhile, is seen in an increasingly similar situation. The list of complaints is growing, many to do with his perceived unorthodox ideology that contrasts with the conservative political ‘Thainess’ that includes non-negotiable support for the Army and Monarchy.

Thanathorn has been criticised for something he said about the Khana Ratsadon Party, which played an instrumental role in changing Thailand’s system from absolute monarchy to constitutional monarchy in 1932. The secretary-general of Thanathorn’s party has also been forced to deny making highly-controversial comments about Thailand’s political culture.

Future Forward did very well on March 24, surpassing pundits’ predictions for the new party. Analysts say the success is due to three main factors — Thanathorn’s youthful image that attracted the majority of first-time voters, the dissolution of the Thai Raksa Chart Party that shifted a lot of votes to Future Forward, and the new party’s fresh ideology and perspectives.

He, and the party, attracted a lot of newer voters along with a core of disaffected voters who are looking for change.

But Thanathorn’s looming legal trouble is described as a potential banana skin. It concerns a large number of shares he had in a media company, which were transferred to his mother so that he could qualify as an election candidate.

One apparently-private document, which he is relying on, showed he transferred the V-Luck Media Company shares on January 8, before he applied for election candidacy. Another document, which his accusers are relying on, apparently showed the transfer was brought to the authorities’ attention after he became an election candidate.

Controversy continues to build around the young billionaire and chances are it will grow.

SOURCES: Thai PBS | The Thaiger

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