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Thai Airways backs Nok Air’s purchase of new aircraft

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Thai Airways (THAI) recently announced that it is lending strong support to Nok Air’s purchase of new aircraft, president of the national airline Sumeth Damrongchaitham said.

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He added that a meeting among top executives of THAI and its allies, comprising Thai Smile and Nok Air, was held to seek greater collaboration and assistance in many areas, such as marketing and route arrangements. 
“We will collaborate with Nok Air, which is facing management problems, and will help it rebuild confidence, including negotiations with trading partners. Our collaboration will also offer THAI’s credibility when it comes to Nok Air purchasing new aircraft,” Sumeth said, adding that the assistance was not financial in nature. 
As for progress in THAI’s plans to acquire 30 aircraft worth a total of Bt150 billion, Sumeth said the airline has already submitted the proposal to the Transport Ministry. 
“We need to wait for the new Cabinet to approve the plan. Though the delay in the purchase of new aircraft will have a negative impact on THAI’s revenue, we are adjusting some business plans to ease the impact, such as renting new aircraft,” Sumeth said. 
“At the group meeting, we also discussed the obstacles faced by THAI, especially unfair practices related to the ‘open skies’ policy. Thailand has opened its skies to foreign airlines, but we have found that many countries do not open their skies to Thai airlines. This is an unfair practice and will have a negative impact on our tourism industry,” he said. 
Sumeth added that THAI, along with other local airlines, will soon hold a forum to seek solutions to such “open skies” problems and will come up with proposals for the Transport Ministry and other related agencies so the problem can be solved as soon as possible.

Published : July 07, 2019

By : THE NATION