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Senior transport officials to discuss aviation crisis with ICAO, Germany and Australia

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Senior transport officials to discuss aviation crisis with ICAO, Germany and Australia
The Nation / Phuket Gazette

PHUKET: In a bid to ease the country’s current aviation woes, the Transport Ministry is seeking help from the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) and preparing a team to visit Germany and Australia, while South Korea decided yesterday to temporarily allow Jet Asia Airways to operate charter flights to the country.

Transport Minister ACM Prajin Juntong yesterday said his team – led by the deputy minister and the Civil Aviation Department director-general – was scheduled to meet with the ICAO president in Canada from April 20-22 to discuss the situation concerning aviation safety in Thailand and the impact of air restrictions and bans imposed by several countries in Asia.

“The ministry is now drawing up an aviation action plan, which will be completed this week and will be sent to the ICAO, airlines and aviation authorities in the countries we plan to visit,” he said.

The meeting with the head of the ICAO is expected to help ease restrictions and a ban on Asian air travel due to significant safety concerns in Japan and South Korea.

The ban resulted in five airlines registered in Thailand being unable to operate charter flights, extend new routes or increase flight frequencies into Japan and South Korea during the summer season, which ends in September.

ACM Prajin said South Korea’s Office of Civil Aviation had, however, given temporary permission to Jet Asia Airways to operate charter flights to the country, effective through April 15.

The temporary permission is not extended to Asia Atlantic Airlines and NokScoot, although the two carriers have asked to be allowed to change their charter-flight service to scheduled operations, he added.

“The three airlines had planned a number of charter flights to South Korea throughout April, carrying 22,119 passengers,” said the minister.

As to scheduled flights by Thai Airways International and Thai AirAsia X, the South Korean authorities said they may relax the rules if the carriers planned to increase the number of flights.

During talks with South Korea last week, the ministry asked the country to reconsider its position and grant special permission for Nokscoot and Thai AirAsia X to operate charter flights into Korea, as the two Thai-based carriers had shared foreign ownership – with Singaporean and Malaysian businesses, respectively.

The transport minister said his team was scheduled to meet with the aviation authorities in China yesterday and today, as well as visiting Germany and Australia after the Songkran Festival for similar discussions, despite those countries not having issued restrictions such as those imposed by Japan.

Meanwhile, Tony Tyler, director-general and chief executive officer of the International Air Travel Association (IATA), said it was not looking good for Southeast Asian travellers as two of the region’s biggest countries – Indonesia and Thailand – were in the spotlight for safety and other lapses.

“To ensure safe flights and comfort, and to realise the full benefits of plans to liberalize the region’s air travel market, Indonesia and Thailand must fix problems that have been highlighted by global bodies,” said an IATA expert.

As part of plans for Asean to operate as a single aviation market, which Singapore has been strongly pushing for, all 10 member nations, except for the Philippines, now allow neighboring carriers to fly without any restrictions to their capital cities.

Almost all restrictions have also been lifted for flights to other cities.

Alan Tan, professor of aviation law at the National University of Singapore, said the problems of inadequate infrastructure – airports, runways, crewing, safety and air traffic control – affected many countries in the region.

— Phuket Gazette Editors

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Coronavirus (Covid-19)

Foreign tourists must use Covid-19 tracking app when travelling to Thailand

Caitlin Ashworth

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Foreign tourists must use Covid-19 tracking app when travelling to Thailand | The Thaiger
PHOTO: Digital Government Development Agency

Foreign tourists travelling to Thailand will need to download the Covid-19 contact tracking mobile application “ThailandPlus” before arriving in Thailand and use it throughout their stay. The app will notify travellers if they have been in close contact with any confirmed cases.

Throughout their trip to Thailand, tourists will need to keep the app “on” and check in and out of various locations by scanning QR codes. The app requires access to the smartphone’s GPS , but the Tourism Authority of Thailand says the information collected will only be used for public health purposes and will not infringe on the tourists’ right to privacy.

Travellers will also need to upload a recent headshot as well as supply their Certificate of Entry number and reference ID from the Royal Thai Embassy.

The app is a spinoff to the “Thai Chana” and “Mor Chana” apps. All use GPS and Bluetooth as well as QR code scanning to detect the users’ locations. The apps sparked controversy and many Thais expressed concerns about their privacy, but the government has assured the public that information will be kept private.

The development of the app is a collaboration between the Ministry of Digital Economy and Society, the Prime Minister’s Office and the Digital Government Development Agency.

Click HERE to download the ThailandPlus.

SOURCE: TAT

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Thailand News Today | Pollies in jail, Covid originated in Thailand? | Feb 25

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Thailand News Today | Pollies in jail, Covid originated in Thailand? | Feb 25 | The Thaiger

Today on Thailand News Today, a number of government ministers have ended up in jail, the vaccines are about to roll out but experts say the injections are not the end of the pandemic, and A Pattaya motorbike taxi driver is being accused of attacking a Chilean national. We’ve also get a special report on the channel about accusations that surfaced this week that Covid 19 may not have started in Wuhan at all, but in Thailand. That’s all coming up now on Thursday’s Thailand News Today.

A number of government ministers have been jailed for their part in protests against the government of Yingluck Shinawatra that crippled Bangkok and ultimately led to the 2014 military coup. Yesterday, the Criminal Court handed prison sentences to 29 former members of the People’s Democratic Reform Committee, some of whom were serving as MPs in the current Chan-o-cha administration.

Police have shut down a network of online casinos in raids that took place across 7 provinces, with 19 suspects arrested, and cash and other goods seized. In total, 8 online casino networks in 7 provinces have been shut down, with police apprehending 19 out of a total 22 suspects.

A specialist in infectious diseases at the Faculty of Medicine of Bangkok’s Chulalongkorn University says the arrival of vaccines does not mean it will automatically be safe to re-open to foreign visitors. Thira Woratanarat says opening the borders too soon will only put Thailand in more danger, pointing to a lack of data on the efficacy of vaccines against transmission.

The Thai Ministry of Public Health is being praised after seemingly doing an about face over whether Bangkok’s Chatuchak Weekend Market could be the source of Covid‐19. After health officials denied that the World Health Organisation was investigating the market, a recent Facebook live press conference saw the Ministry acknowledging that unregulated wildlife trades may endanger public health.

A Pattaya motorbike taxi driver is being accused of attacking a Chilean national, leaving his nose broken and face bloodied. The 24 year old Salvatore Chilean, filed a report to the Pattaya City Police at around 2am this morning after saying he had left a nightclub on Pattaya’s Walking Street after it had closed.

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Canadian Embassy to help Thailand recruit English teachers

Caitlin Ashworth

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Canadian Embassy to help Thailand recruit English teachers | The Thaiger
FILE PHOTO

Thailand officials want more native speaking English teachers and plan to recruit more than 10,000 English teachers for 300 schools to improve English proficiency among Thai students. To help draw in potential teachers, the Education Ministry is teaming up with the Canadian Embassy in Thailand.

Teachers will be placed in schools once the pandemic has eased. Recruitment for the plan is expected to be completed by May, according to Education Minister Nataphol Teepsuwan. He says the Cabinet has approved an agreement between the ministry, embassy and the Thai-Canadian Chamber of Commerce for the recruitment plan.

The ministry plans to focus on teaching language in early levels of education because young students are at a suitable age for building communication skills, Nataphol says. Teachers will be either native English speakers or Thai teachers who hold an English degree, according to Nataphol.

Along with 10,000 English teachers, the Cabinet also plans to recruit 10,000 Chinese teachers. Teachers will also receive training.

SOURCE: Bangkok Post

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