Connect with us

Phuket

THAI silk turning to sandpaper?

Legacy Phuket Gazette

Published

 on 

THAI silk turning to sandpaper? | Thaiger

BANGKOK (AFP): Thai Airways (a.k.a THAI) is re-launching the quest for a leader who can get the airline to shrug off its rapidly deteriorating image and revalidate its claims of running “smooth as silk”. THAI’s reputation used to be one of the best in Asia. But analysts and passengers are starting to see the airline fall apart. And Thailand’s prime minister, Thaksin Shinawatra, who opined last year that his nation’s airline “sucks”, wants a new president named by the end of this month. The airline is turning into a symbol of the problems confronting the prime minister as he struggles with his own flagging popularity. Thai Airways is plagued by an estimated two billion dollars in debt, deteriorating passenger service, government interference, boardroom chaos, labour unrest, and even bomb threats. Everything is pulling it off course from a partial privatization promised to the International Monetary Fund when it helped Thailand overcome the 1997 financial crisis. Three different boards have tried and failed to select a new president in the past year. Thaksin-appointed chairman Virabongsa Ramangkura called off the latest attempt on December 27 amid reports of infighting. Virabongsa warned in November that Thai Airways could collapse within three years unless its management and working style changed. According to Andrew Maule, an aviation analyst in Bangkok with ABN Amro, THAI, with a debt-equity ratio over 10, is now in danger of “going broke”. “It is time for a serious management shake-up,” says Maule. “There was renewed hope when the latest Thai government took power that…things would start to happen, [and] they would bring in proper managers. “The people who are there today do not know how it should be run. It is a combination of politicians, government bureaucracy, and labour-management [strife] which would scupper any enterprise.” THAI was a founder member of the Star Alliance of airlines, and other members, such as Lufthansa, were reportedly interested in taking a key stake. Aviation industry officials said, however, that interest is waning because of the government interference. And THAI’s “service has been in long-term decline,” notes Maule. “The people part has been forgotten. Frankly, it needs a major upgrade.” Singapore businessman David Wong, a regular traveller on the highly competitive short-haul flights in Southeast Asia, agrees. “There have been times when we have been told that flights were delayed to wait for a [Thai government] minister or a military officer,” he noted in disgust.

 

Get more from The Thaiger

📱 Download our app on Android or iOS
👋 Have your say on our Thailand forums
🔔 Subscribe to our daily email newsletter
📺 Subscribe / Join YouTube for daily shows
👍 Like/Follow us on Facebook
🐦 FOLLOW us on Twitter
📷 FOLLOW us on Instagram

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.

Click to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

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

Follow Thaiger by email:

Travel35 mins ago

Phuket’s 5 most stunning villas for rent

News2 hours ago

USA tentatively plans to require all foreign visitors to be vaccinated

Thailand2 hours ago

Bangkok closure order extended until August 31

Sponsored1 day ago

Tour Phuket’s Islands with 5 Star Marine

Welcome back to Thailand!

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

Best of2 hours ago

Ayutthaya’s 5 most amazing hotels

Coronavirus (Covid-19)3 hours ago

Nonthaburi field hospital adds an ICU

Coronavirus Vaccines3 hours ago

Older volunteers wanted for trials of Chulalongkorn University mRNA vaccine

image
Join the conversation on the Thaiger Talk forums today!
Crime3 hours ago

Officers surprise drug suspect with birthday cake in Nakhon Si Thammarat

Coronavirus Vaccines3 hours ago

WHO calls for booster shots to be suspended while poor countries face vaccine shortages

Myanmar3 hours ago

Rumours of meeting with Aung San Suu Kyi as Burmese military accept ASEAN envoy

Best of4 hours ago

Top 10 Hemp-Friendly Restaurants In Thailand

Coronavirus (Covid-19)4 hours ago

Waste disposal firm calls for rubbish collectors to be vaccinated

Coronavirus (Covid-19)4 hours ago

Thursday Covid Update: High of 20,920 new cases and 160 deaths

Coronavirus (Covid-19)5 hours ago

Rollout of Pfizer doses gets underway

Coronavirus (Covid-19)11 hours ago

20 year old arrested for online alternative vaccine scam

Coronavirus (Covid-19)15 hours ago

Delta variant now the predominant strain, 78% of Thai infections

Thailand5 months ago

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

Tourism5 months ago

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

Phuket5 months ago

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

Tourism5 months ago

Phuket Thai food treats you need to try | VIDEO

Thailand5 months ago

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

Tourism5 months ago

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

Thailand7 months ago

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

Thailand7 months ago

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

Thailand7 months ago

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

Thailand7 months ago

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

Thailand7 months ago

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

Thailand7 months ago

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

Thailand7 months ago

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

Thailand7 months ago

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

Thailand7 months ago

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

Trending