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Phuket Air hires “best practice’ experts

Legacy Phuket Gazette

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BANGKOK: Problem-plagued Phuket Air has recruited a British provider of safety training to instill “best practice” throughout every level of its operations.

The deal between Phuket Air and training and development company The Human Factor was announced in London by the founder of The Human Factor, ex-British Royal Air Force pilot George Duncan, and Phuket Air Executive Vice-President Captain Chawanit Chiamcharoenvut.

It is not known how much Phuket Air is paying for the services of Mr Duncan’s company.

Since the middle of April, a Phuket Air plane has been prevented from leaving Sharjah airport in the United Arab Emirates after passengers saw fuel pouring from a wing (the company said the wing had been ‘over-filled’ with fuel); a Bangkok-bound flight had to return to London after developing hydraulics problems; the airline was banned from flying into the UK and the Netherlands after safety inspectors found “serious” faults on planes, and a plane was impounded at London’s Gatwick airport for non-payment of landing fees.

In addition, the company cancelled its Bangkok-Bali route, claiming that passenger numbers had slumped because the ban on flying from Amsterdam had robbed the Bali service of “feeder” flights.

Mr Duncan outlined The Human Factor’s plans for Phuket Air, saying: “A range of programmes will be rigorously implemented across the supply chain, and across the company, to ensure that best practice in Western European safety and service standards are embedded at all levels – and locations served by the airline.”

The Human Factor specializes in reducing human error in “mission-critical” situations, a wide compass that could include anything from an aircraft cockpit to a hospital operating theatre.

Sribenja Semmeesook, Communication Consultant of Phuket Air’s PR company, Aziam Burson-Marsteller, told the Gazette, that the company hoped that recruiting The Human Factor would make customers more confident about using Phuket Air.

“I think this training will be good for crews, will make passengers more confident, and will enable us to develop our service, similar to other airlines,” she said.

“This isn’t something that airlines must do by law, but it is the sort of thing done by airlines that want to develop and compete better.”

K. Sribenja added that the company was still working to persuade the Dutch and British civil aviation authorities to overturn the bans on flying to the Netherlands and Britain.

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