Thailand’s The Nation reports that this past Monday in Thailand, Deputy Transport Minister Ormsin Chivapruck called a meeting with all Thai-registered carriers, following Nok Air’s cancellation of 9 flights stranding 1,400 people.
The Nok Air incident was related to some of its pilots not meeting European Aviation Safety Agency safety standards, although the specifics were not included.
The result of the Civil Aviation Authority of Thailand’s (CAAT) meeting, however could be a positive for passengers, as Thailand continues to navigate out of a rocky year, including the FAA’s downgrade, and flag carrier, Thai Airways financial troubles.
Those positives include:
- The CAAT has required each airline to provide a contingency plan to prevent leaving passengers stranded. Do it once, they get a warning, do it twice, they would have their commercial aviation license suspended, third, revoked.
- Institute certain consumer protection rules, e.g. food and compensation in the event of delays. The article cites: “For instance, passengers should be offered a full refund, another flight or other options and be paid Bt1,200 cash immediately as compensation before departing.”
- A second article, from the Bangkok Post, stated that airlines must also identify a “Manager on duty”, empowered to make decisions.
I think this is great that the CAAT is requiring airlines to provide what really seem like basic consumer protections. This incident underscores the issues facing Thai Aviation at the moment. It will be interesting to see how things pan out.