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Pm Warns Thai Airways To Shape Up  
User currently offlineSydscott From Australia, joined Oct 2003, 3657 posts, RR: 20
Posted (12 years 6 months 2 weeks 1 day 2 hours ago) and read 3970 times:

What do people think about the following news article re Thailands new low cost competitor and its connection to the Prime Ministers Family.

PM warns Thai Airways to shape up
Date: 2003-Nov-14 06:11 AM

Thai Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra on Thursday warned national carrier Thai Airways to brace itself for the launch of new budget airline AirAsia Aviation which is half-owned by his family company.

"Everybody must adjust themselves, in the near future there will be no monopoly and every business sector will be liberated," he told reporters.

Thai Airways is expected to be adversely affected by AirAsia which in January will begin cut-price services to popular destinations including the northern city of Chiang Mai and the holiday island of Phuket.

These routes were once the lucrative preserve of the national flag carrier which has been repeatedly criticised by Thaksin who accuses it of poor service and failing to respond to government policy.

Thaksin said AirAsia will benefit the less well-off flying public while in its domestic operations Thai Airways will be relegated to servicing the niche market of upscale services.

"Thai Airways has its strong point with the overseas routes, and still has premium customers, therefore it will serve the high-end market," he said.

AirAsia is 51 per cent owned by Shin Corp., the telecoms conglomerate which made Thaksin a billionaire. Control of the company was shifted to his family before he took power in January 2001 elections.

The other partner in the venture is budget Malaysian carrier AirAsia which has denied it chose Shin Corp. because of its links to Thaksin.

However, there have been questions raised over the prospect of an airline with close links to the prime minister directly competing with the national carrier.

Campaign for Popular Democracy spokesman Suriyasai Katasila told The Nation newspaper on Thursday he believed Shin Corp. was planning to eventually take control of Thai Airways and called on Thaksin to protect the carrier.

"There is a clear conflict of interest. The new airline will be operated by the Shinawatra family, and it is bound to be given special privileges by the government," he said.

"If Thai is taken over, there will be no competition anymore. The low-cost concept will be finished and the Thai people will have no choices anymore," he said.

The controversy has erupted ahead of a major Thai Airways share offering later this month which will reduce government ownership in the carrier from 93 per cent to 70 per cent.

Brought to you by AAP.
© 2003 AFP

7 replies: All unread, jump to last
User currently offlineAhlfors From Canada, joined Oct 2000, 1347 posts, RR: 4
Reply 1, posted (12 years 6 months 2 weeks 1 day 1 hour ago) and read 3918 times:

This from someone who practically forced Thai to pick up unprofitable political routes... sheesh.

User currently offlineEx_SQer From United States of America, joined Apr 2002, 1436 posts, RR: 5
Reply 2, posted (12 years 6 months 2 weeks 21 hours ago) and read 3853 times:

Ahlfors: What unprofitable routes did Shinawatra make TG pick up?

User currently offlineRyanair!!! From Australia, joined Mar 2002, 4785 posts, RR: 24
Reply 3, posted (12 years 6 months 2 weeks 13 hours ago) and read 3746 times:

Well, Thai really needs to buck up in reality. They are indeed lagging behind their neighbouring competitors... just look at their cabin amenities! A premium class that still gives out personal DVD players in this day and age of PTVs?! Y Class with barely passable IFE?

I am all for Thaksin's govt to provide the airline with funds to spruce itself up. Funny he is telling then to buck up, well - GIVE THEM THE MONEY TO!

Welcome to my starry one world alliance, a team in the sky!
User currently offlineTG992 From New Zealand, joined Jan 2001, 2910 posts, RR: 10
Reply 4, posted (12 years 6 months 2 weeks 10 hours ago) and read 3659 times:

Hm.. an airline from a third world country where 95% of nationals cannot afford to take a taxi, let alone fly, lagging behind airlines from Singapore and Hong Kong? Who would've thought?  Insane

TG do a damn good job with what they've got, IMO.

User currently offlineYyz717 From Canada, joined Sep 2001, 16525 posts, RR: 54
Reply 5, posted (12 years 6 months 2 weeks 9 hours ago) and read 3625 times:

Hm.. an airline from a third world country where 95% of nationals cannot afford to take a taxi, let alone fly, lagging behind airlines from Singapore and Hong Kong? Who would've thought?

TG do a damn good job with what they've got, IMO.

I agree. In a country where most people live in abject poverty and one of the biggest industries is the sex trade, you would think the PM would focus on social development or more immediate national concerns. What a sad country.

I dumped at the gybe mark in strong winds when I looked up at a Porter Q400 on finals. Can't stop spotting.
User currently offlineJaysit From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 6, posted (12 years 6 months 2 weeks 6 hours ago) and read 3576 times:

"I agree. In a country where most people live in abject poverty and one of the biggest industries is the sex trade. What a sad country."

You clearly have never been to Thailand.

Abject poverty is largely absent in Thailand, even in congested Bangkok, and the standard of living is fairly good. The sex industry, while notorious, is hardly one of the biggest industries in Thailand. There is a large manufacturing base, and Timber and Rubber continue to be profitable. Thailand is one of Germany's largest trading partners and accounts for a sizeable percentage of German foreign investment.

Tourism is also one of the country's largest revenue earning industries, and as such Thai Airways had a big role to play in that. For years it was considered to be a premium carrier (back in the 80s before Thailand's economy began to boom) and has sadly slipped in its standards. What a country's GDP has to do with its service standards is a mystery to me, because if there were a correlation Delta, Air Canada and Lufthansa would have the highest service standards in the industry, and I think we're all aware of how miserable their inflight products can be. On the other hand try flying Sri Lankan or its predecessor Air Lanka, Ethiopian Air, or Malaysian, and you will see some of the highest inflight standards - and profits to match - in the airline industry.

Thai Airways reputation has a great role to play in beefing up tourism in Thailand, and as such the PM is right to criticize its falling standards.

User currently offlineAirbus Lover From Malaysia, joined Apr 2000, 3248 posts, RR: 9
Reply 7, posted (12 years 6 months 2 weeks 6 hours ago) and read 3563 times:

Hint hint:

Look at Malaysia with its Malaysia Airlines!  Wink/being sarcastic Malaysia is not too much different from Thailand and in fact I think Thailand is doing better than Malaysia in many aspects including foreign trades etc...

In fact TG is also bigger than MH in terms of revenue. But I am not sure if TG is making any profit at all, while MH is and MH is constantly advertising itself and have plans to upgrade their products offered coupled with systemwide expansion and fleet expansion.

way to go MH... Going beyond expectations  Laugh out loud (sorry cldnt resist that)

Overall I think both are great airlines and I have nothing against TG but i just think they hvae a lot of catch up in some aspects like inflight amenities compared to their neighbours, SQ CX and MH... (even VN's newly delivered B777s have better inflight amenities in all classes and AVOD onboard with the exception that their C class is no flat bed but 60" pitch).

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