THAI “may suspend flights around Y2K’

BANGKOK (AFP): Thai Airways (THAI) may suspend flights around the New Year if passengers are worried the millennium computer bug could make aircraft and airports unsafe, the government said today. The national airline is considering not flying for a half-day or a full day in response to passenger concerns, Transport Minister Suthep Theungsuban told reporters. “If passengers do not feel happy, why would we fly?” he asked. “Safety is our first priority.” Deputy Prime Minister Trairong Suwankiri said suspending flights would reflect official concern about the readiness of other countries. “Many countries [will] suspend flights, although our airports are in the top 25 in the world in terms of readiness for [Y2K] bug problems,” he said. “I don’t trust the aviation departments in some other countries. If another country is not ready, we will not fly there,” he added. THAI refused to comment today on its Y2K readiness, saying that it would make an announcement following a board meeting on November 18. Television reports this afternoon quoted a THAI source as saying that no firm decision has yet been taken to suspend flights.

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