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AirAsia CEO aims to set up base in Phuket

Legacy Phuket Gazette

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AirAsia CEO aims to set up base in Phuket | The Thaiger

PHUKET CITY: AirAsia would like to establish Phuket as a regional operations base, but efforts to do so have thus far been hampered by Thai bureaucracy, the company’s founder has told the Gazette.

In an exclusive interview, AirAsia CEO Tony Fernandes also said that one of three new 164-seat Airbus A320 aircraft the airline has on order will be earmarked for the Bangkok-Phuket route. The aircraft is expected to arrive within three months.

Mr Fernandes also confirmed that AirAsia has been scouting for up to three sites on Phuket for its new budget hotel chain, Tune.

Setting up Phuket as an AirAsia operations base would be for single-aisle aircraft, such as the Boeing 737 or Airbus A340, rather than large, wide-bodied aircraft from international routes, he said.

However, Mr Fernandes said that establishing Phuket as a base could take time as he believes the Thai authorities have a negative view toward budget carriers.

Mr Fernandes, who entered into a partnership with former Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra to form Thai AirAsia, said the Thai carrier had so far not experienced any serious impact from the closure of Phuket, Haad Yai and Krabi airports by the People’s Alliance For Democracy (PAD) last week .

“I have not seen much evidence of people going home or running away,” he said.

Both Thai AirAsia and THAI Airways have reaped the benefits of One-Two-Go and Nok Air’s misfortunes with higher passenger and cargo loads, after One-Two-Go was grounded by the government pending safety improvements and Nok Air cut its Phuket service to two weekend flights due to a fall in demand.

In contrast, Thai AirAsia currently has 10 flights a day into Phuket, including two from Kuala Lumpur and one from Singapore. AirAsia flies 656 flights daily, on 102 routes to 57 destinations in 12 countries.

Mr Fernandes, who is famously outspoken, had harsh words for the Airports Authority Of Thailand (AOT), which runs six airports in Thailand, including Phuket International Airport (PIA).

He did not directly criticize the authorities who run PIA, but did say that Thailand is definitely falling behind other prime tourist destinations because of the AOT’s reluctance to reduce current landing charges that are among the highest in Asia. He called the AOT “rudderless”.

“We have delivered for them. We are the only airline to remain and not cut flights. In fact, we have added capacity into Phuket,” he said.

Special report by Alastair Carthew



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Phuket

Phuket tourist decides hotel awning more comfortable than his room

Kritsada Mueanhawong

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Phuket tourist decides hotel awning more comfortable than his room | The Thaiger

PHOTOS: Rawai Rescue workers / Phuket Tourist Police

The Phuket Tourist Police have been notified that a tourist had jumped from a building in Rawai and ended up on a steel awning covering the bottom floor today. But that wasn’t, in fact, what had happened.

The local Tourist Police say the owner of the building told staff at the Tourist Assistance Centre that the tourist had checked into the room on February 13.

The tourist didn’t actually jump down from the building but had moved a mattress from his room on to the awning and slept on it (mosquitos!!) He was also drunk and damaged some property inside the room.

The man is a 37 year old Estonian tourist. He was staying at the room with a 25 year old male friend.

Chalong Police have charged them both with being drunk and damaging property. They have said that they will pay for all damages to the owner of the property. They are heading back home on February 26.

Phuket tourist decides hotel awning more comfortable than his room | News by The Thaiger Phuket tourist decides hotel awning more comfortable than his room | News by The ThaigerPhuket tourist decides hotel awning more comfortable than his room | News by The Thaiger Phuket tourist decides hotel awning more comfortable than his room | News by The Thaiger Phuket tourist decides hotel awning more comfortable than his room | News by The Thaiger Phuket tourist decides hotel awning more comfortable than his room | News by The Thaiger Phuket tourist decides hotel awning more comfortable than his room | News by The Thaiger

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Phuket

Patong motorbike racer arrested and fined – VIDEO

Kritsada Mueanhawong

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Patong motorbike racer arrested and fined – VIDEO | The Thaiger

PHOTO: Patong Police

Patong Police yesterday arrested a motorbike racer after identifying him and his motorbike from video clips that were popular in social media this week.

Patong Police are investigating alleged foreign motorbike racing gangs in Patong after video clips went viral in local social media.

Read more about the racing around Patong’s streets HERE.

Patong Police report that they have now arrested one motorbike racer and charged him with the maximum fine.

Patong Police are also asking motorbike rental operators to explain basic traffic rules for motorbike drivers who want to rent a motorbike.

(The Thaiger is assuming this would be covered when they get their motorbike license, which they are required to have before a motorbike is rented to them.)

PHUKETForeigners racing around Patong. Who would have thought?! https://thethaiger.com/news/phuket/police-investigate-motorbike-hoons-in-patongVIDEO: เป็นปากเป็นเสียง

Posted by The Thaiger on Wednesday, February 20, 2019

Patong motorbike racer arrested and fined - VIDEO | News by The Thaiger Patong motorbike racer arrested and fined - VIDEO | News by The Thaiger

 

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Phuket

500 free helmets handed out to motorbike drivers in Patong

Kritsada Mueanhawong

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500 free helmets handed out to motorbike drivers in Patong | The Thaiger

Patong Development Foundation together with Patong Police and Patong Municipality have given 500 helmets to motorbike drivers in Patong today under the campaign ‘Wear your helmet’.

Handing out the 500 helmets to motorbike user in Patong was led by Patong Police Chief Col Anothai Jindamanee, Patong Municipality Chalermluck Kebsup and President of Patong Development Foundation Preechawut ‘Prap’ Keesin.

Col Anothai says, “Many motorbike drivers have been injured and died in road accident. We want 100 percent of motorbike drivers and passengers wearing helmets. ”

“More motorbike riders are now wearing helmets as the number of not wearing helmet charges has been dropping in Patong with better enforcement.”

500 free helmets handed out to motorbike drivers in Patong | News by The Thaiger 500 free helmets handed out to motorbike drivers in Patong | News by The Thaiger 500 free helmets handed out to motorbike drivers in Patong | News by The Thaiger 500 free helmets handed out to motorbike drivers in Patong | News by The Thaiger 500 free helmets handed out to motorbike drivers in Patong | News by The Thaiger 500 free helmets handed out to motorbike drivers in Patong | News by The Thaiger

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