The problems facing Thai Airways (Thai Airways International won’t go bankrupt: PM) reminded us of the unfortunate fate of the Thai state airline under the Pheu Thai-led government.
The firing of successful CEO Piyasawat and his replacement with a Thaksin political lackey was noted with shock by the airline industry worldwide. Below are some mentions over the years that refer to the troubles the state carrier has encountered.
From Manager, June 12, 2014
On the airplane: Directors of Thai Ariways
Captain: I am Captain Prayuth. I’d like to inform you that from now on this flight will stop serving luxurious food… expensive wine… champagne… we’ll serve only plain water just enough for you to live on… those who cannot accept it… please walk to the exit at the rear. And our staff will help push you out with their feet to find something else out there to eat.
[“Captain Prayuth” refers to Gen. Prayuth Chan-ocha, head of the junta. During the time when the Pheu Thai Party led the government, the highly successful head of Thai was sacked and was replaced with a Thaksin crony. Subsequent losses led to the junta cutting remuneration and perks of board members in an attempt to shake up the state carrier.]
June 10, 2014: Junta cancels free flights for THAI board members
September 2, 2013: Is Thai Airways Sixth President since 2000 already gone?
January 25, 2010: Thai Airways launches cultural overhaul
…Under the premiership of Thaksin Shinawatra from 2001 to 2006, interference in purchases by the board of directors, which is appointed by the government, reached new heights, Piyasvasti said.
“About five years ago, the board became so active that management simply stopped managing the company, and that started a rapid decline in Thai Airways,” Piyasvasti said…
Above: From Thairath, May 21, 2012
The caption reads: Fall from the heavens
On the chair: Piyasawat [Thai Airways CEO]
[This refers to the controversial sacking of the Thai Airways CEO who led the airline to a stunning financial turnaround. He was replaced by a Pheu Thai government loyalist.]
And from 2005: The infamous Suvanabhumi Airport Runway Cracks Story