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Pattaya Daily News

09 October 2008 :: 08:10:53 am 41696

Politicised Thai Pilot Grounded for Barring Ruling Party Mps From Flight

BANGKOK, Oct 8 - National flag carrier Thai Airways (THAI) temporarily suspended a pilot who refused to allow three Members of Parliament from the ruling People Power Party (PPP) to board his flights Wednesday morning.
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The pilot was upset with Tuesday’s street violence in Bangkok and held that the government members of parliament should not be permitted to fly.

Surin member of parliament Farida Sulaiman and two other government MPs met the press Wednesday afternoon. Ms. Farida said she was about to board a THAI flight from Don Mueang Airport to Khon Kaen at 6am.

She said the pilot for the flight challenged her, asking if she was an MP from the government (PPP) party. Answering ‘Yes’, she was astonished to hear the captain state ‘THAI Airways does not welcome PPP MPs.’

MP Farida insisted on boarding the flight, stating her right as a passenger, but the pilot, later identified as Chakkri Pongsiri, denied her entry into the plane.

A miffed Ms. Farida said she would write a letter of complaint letter to THAI as the pilot’s action proved him to be irrational and that his actions could affect the safety of passengers.

Hours later two other government party members of the House of Representatives, Nongbua Lamphu MP Chaiya Promma and Nong Khai NP Chompoo Chanthathong, were refused permission to board a THAI flight to Udon Thani.

The rejected MPs said they were informed by THAI ground staff that the pilot disallowed them from boarding the aircraft “as they worked for ‘tyranny'”. The MPs later learned of the incident with MP Farida.

Meanwhile, THAI labour union president Chamsri Sukchoterat said the captain of any flight has the legal right to reject passengers whom he believes would cause trouble.

Mrs. Chamsri said the captain could also refuse a passenger if he felt other passengers’ safety was at risk.

However, THAI vice president Norahuch Ployyai told a press conference that the company apologised for the incidents and has begun an investigation of Captain Chakkri’s actions to determine if they inconsistent with pilot’s regulations and professional ethics. Flight Officer Norahuch said the captain has been asked to explain his actions.

The THAI executive said that after the incident company executives met with its pilots, cabin crews and ground staff asking them not to repeat such actions, and that all passengers have a right to service as patrons.

Montree Jumrieng, who heads THAI’s human resources and general management, said the pilot has been suspended from duty while the investigation is underway, and that disciplinary action will be taken against him if he is found to have violated company regulations. (TNA)

Reporter : PDN staff   Photo : Internet   Category : Thailand News

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