Connect with us

Phuket

A Decade Ago: Airline safety no April fools joke

Legacy Phuket Gazette

Published 

 on 

PHUKET: The April 1, 2006 edition of the Phuket Gazette was no joking matter, as the European Commission (EC) blacklisted the now-defunct Phuket Airlines due to safety concerns. However, even as the Gazette went to press a decade ago, the company had applied to launch another airline, to be called Holiday Airplanes.

Phuket is no stranger to horrific airline crashes, only a year and half after Phuket Airlines was blacklisted, One-Two-Go flight OG269 crashed during landing, killing 89 of the 130 people on board. That company wasn’t added to the EC blacklist until April 8, 2009 – you can only imagine what Phuket Airlines was up to, to find themselves banned from the airspace of the European Union and Switzerland.

Then again, we don’t have to imagine.

The airline began to have problems with its safety image in 2005, when passengers aboard one of its Boeing 727s bound for London forced a takeoff to be aborted after seeing fuel pouring from a wing tank after a refueling stop in the United Arab Emirates.

A few days later, another flight was abandoned after it had to turn back to London with a hydraulics problem. The company tried to switch to an Amsterdam route, but authorities barred a flight from taking off there after it was discovered that the emergency lighting inside the plane was not working properly. The saga continued when a small aircraft skidded off the end of the runway at Tak Airport in northern Thailand – only one passenger was injured.

If the looming threat of an EC ban of flights from Thailand doesn’t seem to just be coming from the annals of history, that’s because the EC and the European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) are currently working with Thai authorities to improve safety standards.

The Commission and EASA will closely monitor future developments, and if the protection of air passengers against safety risks so requires, the Commission could then propose to include one or more air carriers from Thailand in the Air Safety List, said the EC in a statement in December.

Though Thailand airlines narrowly escaped being added to the blacklist in December, they had already been downgraded by the Federal Aviation Administration, which regulates United States air safety, to category 2. Prior to this, the International Civil Aviation Organization placed the airlines under ‘special measures’, which prompted Japan and South Korea to block new flights from the Kingdom.

Clearly, despite the golden opportunity of having an April 1 issue date, the Gazette a decade ago – and now – did not see aviation safety as a laughing matter.

Regardless of the ban on Phuket Airlines in Europe, the importance of the European market was still enormous for Phuket. So, the ‘Inside Story’ a decade ago dived into the International Tourism Bourse (ITB) in Berlin.

Tourism business people from Phuket, Phang Nga and Krabi returned from Berlin optimistic about the prospects for the 2006-2007 high season, having received positive feedback during the ITB 2006.

Though the European market pipeline has been constricted to the point that it only produces a trickle of what it once did, having been replaced by a strong Russian market (until the bottom dropped out on Russian ruble) and now the Chinese market, the Tourism Authority of Thailand continues to attend the ITB – pushing the wonders of the Andaman region to Europe.

These wonders – deserted beaches in Krabi and Phang Nga, the island speckled Gulf of Phang Nga and the Phuket infrastructure that makes all of these places easily accessible – will continue to draw people from around the world to the region. Now, whether or not they arrive in Thailand on a Thai airline is a different matter altogether.

— Isaac Stone Simonelli

 

Want more Thailand news from the Thaiger family?

📱 Download our app on Android or iOS for instant updates on your mobile
📝️ Join the conversation on Thaiger Talk - discuss news & life in our Thailand forums
📧 Subscribe to our daily email newsletter
👍 Like/Follow us on Facebook
🔔 Subscribe to or Join our YouTube channel for daily video updates

image

Join the conversation and have your say on Thailand news published on The Thaiger.

Thaiger Talk is our new Thaiger Community where you can join the discussion on everything happening in Thailand right now.

Please note that articles are not posted to the forum instantly and can take up to 20 min before being visible. Click for more information and the Thaiger Talk Guidelines.

Archiving articles from the Phuket Gazette circa 1998 - 2017. View the Phuket Gazette online archive and Digital Gazette PDF Prints.

Follow Thaiger by email:

Coronavirus (Covid-19)3 hours ago

Nightlife businesses petition government to reopen, sell alcohol

Coronavirus (Covid-19)7 hours ago

Koh Larn 70% vaccinated as Pattaya eyes reopening

Economy9 hours ago

BMA extends permits for street vendors to 2 years for stability

Phuket Sandbox July 1st

days
hours
minutes
seconds

Thaiger is getting behind local businesses for the restart of tourism in July - up to 50% discounts across all advertising packages in June!

Sponsored by image

Phuket11 hours ago

Expats in Phuket without a work permit can register for a Covid-19 vaccine

Environment11 hours ago

Tar balls wash ashore on several Phuket beaches

Thailand11 hours ago

Thailand News Today | Private vaccines, PM promises to re-open Thailand, Phuket Sandbox | June 17

Thailand11 hours ago

2 dead following truck crash

Thailand11 hours ago

Outbreaks at factories rise, operators ordered to file Covid risk assessment

Thailand12 hours ago

Prayut going to Phuket, see if it’s Sandbox ready

Coronavirus (Covid-19)12 hours ago

Chulabhorn Royal Academy details Sinopharm vaccine insurance

Thailand12 hours ago

Thai-English auto-translate down on Facebook due to “technical issues”

Best of13 hours ago

Top 8 Things to do in Phuket

Crime13 hours ago

Famous/infamous murder suspect out on bail wins lottery

Thailand13 hours ago

Police arrest 2 men for allegedly trying to extort 2 million baht from a man

Phuket14 hours ago

Electricty outages in Phuket today

Thailand4 months ago

Thailand News Today | Thai Airways in rehab, All go for Songkran | March 4

Tourism4 months ago

Phuket’s nightlife. Yes, bars and clubs are still open | VIDEO

Phuket4 months ago

Thailand News Today | Covid passport talks, Thai Airways heads to court | March 2

Tourism4 months ago

Phuket Thai food treats you need to try | VIDEO

Thailand4 months ago

Thailand News Today | Bars, pubs and restaurants ‘sort of’ back to normal | Feb 23

Tourism4 months ago

In search of Cat & Dog Cafés in Phuket Town | VIDEO

Thailand5 months ago

Thailand News Today | Gambling crackdown, Seafood market to reopen, Vlogger challenge | Jan 21

Thailand5 months ago

Thailand News Today | Covid testing for visas, Business impact, Vaccine approval | January 19

Thailand5 months ago

Thailand News Today | Weekend Bangkok bombs, Thailand fires, Covid update | January 18

Thailand5 months ago

Thailand News Today | Stray car on runway, Indonesian quake, 300 baht tourist fee | January 15

Thailand5 months ago

Thailand News Today | Governor off respirator, sex-trafficking arrest, condo prices falling | January 14

Thailand5 months ago

Thailand News Today | Chinese vaccine, Thailand ‘drug hub’, Covid update | January 13

Thailand5 months ago

Thailand News Today | Bangkok may ease restrictions, Phuket bar curfew, Vaccine roll out | January 12

Thailand5 months ago

Thailand News Today | Covid latest, Cockfights closed down, Bryde’s Whale beached | January 11

Thailand5 months ago

Thailand News Today | Southern floods, Face mask fines, Thai Air Asia woes | January 8

Trending