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Rehabilitation of Thai Airways triggers corruption allegations

The coronavirus crisis is likely to have exposed Thailand’s national carrier’s underlying corporate culture of corruption and financial mismanagement.

Boris Sullivan

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Former international crime prosecutor, Mr. Wanchai Roujanavong predicted in a Facebook post that many corruption cases will emerge as a result of THAI’s rehabilitation process.

He claimed that the airline’s fleet was leased to THAI through several agents, allegedly with the consent of the airline’s board, leading to prohibitively high fees for the rental of aircraft, which is said to be one of the causes of the airline’s heavy losses.

Without the proposed rehabilitation plan, the former chief prosecutor said that that the public would probably never know the truth “while the parasites carried on sucking the blood out of the airline.”

Discrepancies in THAI ticket sales

In related news by the Bangkok Post, police have launched an investigation into allegations of discrepancies in THAI ticket sales last year, according to an unnamed source.

A team led by Pol Lt Gen Charnthep Sesaves, a former Metropolitan Police Bureau commissioner, has opened a probe into any possible graft that may have been committed at THAI.

A source at the Transport Ministry said that last year, ticket sales and freight revenues totalled 140 billion baht and there were 25.4 million passengers who flew with THAI, the source said.

The average fare per passenger was 6,081 baht, which was significantly lower and not consistent with the rates charged to customers, the source said.

“THAI’s revenue last year slumped from the previous year, which raises questions, given a higher average cabin factor [than the previous year] at 80%,” the source said.

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