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Thaiger Radio News – Friday

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Thaiger Radio News – Friday | The Thaiger

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Read more headlines, reports & breaking news in Thailand. Or catch up on your Thailand news.

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Business

King Power’s duty free monopoly under review

The Thaiger & The Nation

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King Power’s duty free monopoly under review | The Thaiger

King Power Duty Free’s monopoly of duty free concessions at some of Thailand’s busiest airports may be coming to an end.

The Thai PM has warned against the “monopolisation” of the country’s airport duty free sector ordering a review of the auctioning process that could threaten the multi-billion-dollar empire of current concession holder King Power.

Thailand expects to welcome over 40 million foreign visitors this year, mostly through its airports which rake in an estimated US$1.9 billion a year in duty free sales.

Airports of Thailand (AoT) awarded King Power the sole concession back in 2006 but is set to expire in September 2020. AoT is a state-run enterprise.

King Power was founded by Vichai Srivaddhanaprabha, the tycoon who made billions from duty free stores and invested in everything from hotels, property and, famously, the Leicester City football club. His helicopter crashed outside the club’s home ground in October last year. According to Forbes Magazine, Vichai had handed his empire to his youngest son Aiyawatt. At his death the company was valued around US$5.8 billion,

The new contract for duty-free sales, AoT says, will be managed by a single company with a proven track record of experience in the sector, creating fears of a prolonged monopoly.

But PM Prayut Chan-O-Cha has stepped in saying the government has received complaints from interested parties “on the issue of monopolisation”. He assigned an urgent review of the bidding to find a “suitable process to be fair”.

Thailand’s Mall Group and shopping empire Central Group are eyeing entry into duty-free while South Korean giant Lotte is also wanting to bid for the valuable concession.

Last year, a Thai court rejected an attempt to sue King Power for hundreds of millions of dollars in unpaid revenue to the airport authority.

SOURCE: The Nation

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One dead, kids injured in school bus accident in Prachinburi

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One dead, kids injured in school bus accident in Prachinburi | The Thaiger

Photo: Prachinburi PR Office

A bus has crashed just north-east of Bangkok, killing one and injuring another 10.

Wangkhon Police in Prachinburi were notified of the accident at 4:40am early today.

The bus was travelling from Nong Bua Lamphu, north east of Thailand, to Prachinburi. The bus was carrying 20 high school students and 19 teachers.

When the bus arrived at the section of the road at Nadee in Prachinburi, the bus careered off the side of the road and overturned.

One female student died instantly while others 10 passengers sustained injuries. They were rushed to the Nadee Hospital.

Police are continuing their investigation this morning.

One dead, kids injured in school bus accident in Prachinburi | News by The Thaiger One dead, kids injured in school bus accident in Prachinburi | News by The Thaiger One dead, kids injured in school bus accident in Prachinburi | News by The Thaiger

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Thai driver puts in an excellent weekend at Australian GP finishing 14th

The Thaiger & The Nation

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Thai driver puts in an excellent weekend at Australian GP finishing 14th | The Thaiger

PHOTO: Alex Albon makes a splash in Melbourne with the first crash of the season and then a sparkling result against the odds

Alex Albon, the Thai-English F1 driver, says he was was satisfied with yesterday’s work in Melbourne after the first Thai driver in Formula 1’s modern era threatened a huge shock before settling for a respectable 14th place at the Australian Grand Prix.

In Friday’s practice, Albon suffered the dubious honour of becoming the first driver of the season to crash out, sending his Toro Rosso car spinning into the barriers.

Further evidence the Thai might be out of his depth at the top level came with a panicked message from his cockpit: “Oh my God … I got my fingers stuck in the headrest and nearly hit the wall.”

But then Saturday’s qualifying saw him unexpectedly surge past his more experienced Russian teammate Daniil Kvyat into 13th place on the grid. Kvyat, with a season of F1 already under his belt, was two grid places behind as the red lights blinked out and the Thai stomped on the accelerator yesterday.

The result was a lightning start for Thailand’s new era at the top of global motorsports.

“The race started off very well, I dropped the clutch and thought ‘great, that was okay!’ I made up two positions straight away and at that time we were in the mix, as I was already one position away from the points,” said Albon, after yesterday’s racing. Tyre problems

“That was pretty much as good as it got for me, though,” he added, complaining that the Toro Rosso tyre strategy failed to pay off.

“We were in a battle with Alfa Romeo’s Antonio Giovinazzi, I think he was struggling with his tyres and everyone on that strategy lost out.”

Despite losing ground to more experienced rivals as his tyres began to wear, Albon declared himself satisfied with his performance in Melbourne.

“All of the guys who stayed out on the harder compound behind overcut us. That compromised our race but I’m still happy with how my weekend went. I think we could have had points so that stings a little, but it was a good experience and I came away with a clean weekend, relatively speaking!”

Team Principal Franz Tost was impressed by Albon’s driving accuracy on Melbourne’s tricky street circuit.

“Alex did a great job … because this was his first race in F1 and it’s not an easy circuit around here. Nevertheless, he didn’t make any mistake and learned a lot throughout the weekend. After the first race weekend, we feel we have a strong package, so I’m optimistic for the next races.”

Thai driver puts in an excellent weekend at Australian GP finishing 14th | News by The Thaiger

Thai driver puts in an excellent weekend at Australian GP finishing 14th | News by The Thaiger

SOURCE: The Nation

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