Phuket Air “will not close down’

BANGKOK: Capt Chawanit Chiamcharoenvut, Executive Vice-President of Phuket Air, this afternoon confirmed to the Gazette that Phuket Air is not going out of business, but will instead expand its local routes.

The announcement came after a report in today’s Bangkok Post that quoted Senator Vikrom Aisiri, founder and president of the airline, as saying the company was “preparing for a ‘soft landing’ to limit further losses and troubles”.

Phuket Air, Sen Vikrom was quoted as saying, will be “ending most scheduled flights, ceasing charter operations and leasing nearly all of its fleet, including the nine Boeing 747 jumbo jets.”

The article also reported that K. Vikrom had said that he “looked back on four years of prejudice, negative perceptions from authorities, the media and even some members of the public, at home and overseas.”

Today, however, after coming out of a meeting lasting much of the day, Capt Chawanit confirmed a report in today’s Nation newspaper, in which he was quoted as saying that Phuket Air will scale down its long-haul operations and instead focus on its local routes.

“I can confirm 100% that we are continuing in the aviation business and will expand our domestic routes. I guarantee it,” Capt Chawanit told the Gazette.

“I heard Sen Vikrom talk with the Bangkok Post reporter yesterday and he sounded very hurt, [after the] pressure and disappointment of having much bad press that was not true.

“I asked him [K. Vikrom] today why he said that, because people would be shocked to hear it. I have already explained to the Bangkok Post reporter that it’s not true,” he said.

Capt Chawanit said that, far from closing, the airline is considering adding a three-flights-a-week service between Chiang Mai and Udon Thani in October, and boosting flights between Bangkok and Yangon from two to four a week.

Phuket Air currently operates three domestic flights, Bangkok-Buri Ram, Bangkok-Mae Sot and Bangkok-Ranong, and one regional route – Bangkok-Yangon.

Phuket News

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