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PM visits Phuket to insist on better boat safety

Kritsada Mueanhawong

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Thai PM General Prayut Chan-o-cha has ordered that every missing passenger, from the sunken ‘Phoenix’ boat, must be found. He has also directed officials to take care of all Chinese survivors and their families as their guests.

“Measures to prevent a similar disaster must be implemented immediately. Every boat must follow official warnings.”

The Prime Minister didn’t mince words when he spoke publicly today.

General Prayut arrived at Chalong Pier at 1pm today.

“I wanted to come here many days ago but I have many things to attend to as you know. We currently have two major incidents – the Phuket boats sinking and the footballers’ evacuation in Chiang Rai.”

“I have met with the Chinese Ambassador Lyu Jian. China hasn’t put any pressure on us or made any special requests. He only asks Thais to take care of those that were injured and look after the families who have flown in to repatriate the deceased, as best as we can.”

“We both understand that Thailand and China have a good standing for more than one hundred years. We are working based on international standards for the recovery and investigation. We are also taking care of every nationality visiting Thailand.”

“The most important thing is to prevent an incident like this happening again. It involves the cooperation of tour operators who must follow the law. More tourist are coming, risk will be increased. We have to prepare and check everything. This entire process of marine safety must be reviewed.”

General Prayut said thank you in Mandarin at the conclusion of his speech.

- Kritsada Mueanhawong

Collecting the daily news around Phuket for many years. One of the island's most accurate and timely news-gatherers.

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National

Singapore Airlines back on top. Thai Airways in 10th place.

Kritsada Mueanhawong

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PHOTO: Flyer Talk

Singapore Airlines is back on top after a decade held out of the top airline position by middle-eastern competition. It’s their fourth win since the Skytrax World Airline awards started back in 2001.

The island nation’s national carrier was named Airline of the Year at the 2018 Skytrax World Airline awards. Singapore Airlines was last top of the list in 2008. This year it forced out last year’s top honours winner, Qatar Airways, into second place.

Yeoh Phee Teik, Singapore Airlines’s senior vice president of customer experience, said “We’re very ecstatic.”

The airline  also claimed best airline in Asia, best first class and best first class seat.

Asian airlines made a return to the winner’s list this year with ANA All Nippon Airways receiving third place, Taiwan’s EVA Air in 5th position, Cathay Pacific in 6th, Hainan Airlines in 7th, Garuda Airlines in 9th (an extraordinary achievement considering their reputation only a decade ago) and Thai Airways in 10th place.

Singapore’s victory marked a resurgence in Asian carriers in the annual UK-based aviation industry review. Skytrax began its awards in 2001 and is recognised for its fairness due to passengers voting in all categories. Aside from a win by Hong Kong’s Cathay Pacific back in 2014, all past seven years have all gone to middle east based airlines.

“We’re glad that our work has been recognised and our customers have voted for us to be the world’s best,” said Yeoh.

Garuda Airlines, which has turned its service around since the early days of Skytrax, when it was banned from flying into European airspace, was presented with the prize for best cabin staff along with its 9th place overall.

Not one US airline picked up a single award.

Locally Air Asia picked up an award for Best low coast airline – Asia, Thai Airways won the award for best airline catering in Economy Class (The Thaiger thinks the voters weren’t flying on the same flight when Thaiger experienced the economy class ‘food’) and Bangkok Ailines won Best Regional Airline – Asia.

The top 10 world’s best airlines for 2018
1. Singapore Airlines
2. Qatar Airways
3. ANA All Nippon Airways
4. Emirates
5. EVA Air
6. Cathay Pacific
7. Lufthansa
8. Hainan Airlines
9. Garuda Indonesia
10. Thai Airways

Best airlines by global region
Northern Europe – Finnair
Western Europe – Lufthansa
Eastern Europe – Aeroflot Russian Airlines
Africa – Ethiopian Airlines
Australia / Pacific – Qantas Airlines
Central Asia / India – Air Astana
China – Hainan Airlines
Central America / Caribbean – Copa Airlines
South America – Avianca
North America– Air Canada
Asia – Singapore Airlines
Middle East – Qatar Airways
Europe – Lufthansa

Best low-cost airlines
Africa – Mango
Australia & Pacific – Jetstar Airways
Asia – AirAsia
Central Asia / India – Indigo
China – West Air
South America – Sky Airline
North America – WestJet
Middle East – Flynas
Europe – Norwegian

Best airline catering
Economy – Thai Airways
Premium economy – Aeroflot Russian Airlines
Business – Austrian Airlines
First class – Air France

Best airline seats
Economy – Japan Airlines
Premium economy – Air New Zealand
Business – Qatar Airways
First class – Singapore Airlines

Best regional airlines
Africa – Royal Air Maroc
Asia – Bangkok Airways
South America – Azul Brazilian Airlines
Central Asia / India – Azerbaijan Airlines
Europe – Aegean Airlines

Best airline lounges
First class – Qatar Airways
Airline alliance lounge – Star Alliance Los Angeles
Independent airport lounge – Plaza Premium Heathrow Terminal Two
First class lounge dining – Air France
Airline lounge spa facility – Thai Awards

Best airlines staff service by global region
Africa – South African Airways
Australia / Pacific – Qantas Airways
Central Asia / India – Vistara
China – Hainan Airlines
Central America / Caribbean – Copa Airlines
South America – Azul Brazilian Airlines
Asia – ANA All Nippon Airways
Middle East – Emirates
Europe – Austrian Airlines

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Samui

Burmese maid returns bag containing $11,000 to tourist

Kritsada Mueanhawong

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Daily News is reporting that a tourist from the Netherlands has thanked a Burmese maid at his hotel on Koh Samui. 37 year old Sawee Let Mau showed it was not just the Thais who are high up in the honesty stakes.

Sawee found the green bag under some stairs – it contained AUD$ to the tune of 280,000 baht – several years wages for a maid.

Police were called to the Ark Bar Hotel in Chaweng and CCTV was checked before 31 year old Alexander Joseph was confirmed as the rightful owner.

He gave the honest maid $100 as a reward. Daily News praises the maid for helping the tourist image of Thailand.

SOURCE: Daily News

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National

Sangkhla Buri floods declared a disaster zone

The Thaiger & The Nation

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Kanchanaburi Governor Jirasak Phumsawat has declared Sangkhla Buri a flood disaster zone to speed up help to affected villagers.

The governor took the action after seven villages in Tambon Nong Lu and three villages in Tambon Laivo were hit by floods on Friday morning following heavy rains that hit 70 per cent of the district.The disaster-zone declaration allowed the provincial administration to bypass the bureaucratic process to send help and compensation directly to the affected villagers.

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