Major setbacks piling up for Thailand-based Nok Air as their internal management is failing to continue their regular flight operations due to the lack of pilots. The problem is as continuous and uncomfortable as turbulence. As the aviation industry is rapidly expanding major airliner such as Nok Air is falling short to meet growing demands of air travel. On average it operates around 100 domestic flights but due to the shortage of pilots it now operates around 20 flights per day.
Nation’s top aviation officials are worried about the crisis which could probably damage the nation’s aviation reputation if not controlled swiftly. The tourism businesses have already been affected on this peak season of travel by sudden downshift of flights.
Officials of Tourism Council of Thailand (TCT) and Association of Thai Travel Agents (ATTA) said domestic tourism would drift down through this month and possibly also suffer in April when the country celebrates the Songkran Festival.
The airline is closely monitored by Civil Aviation Authority of Thailand (CAAT) after the airline postponed 41 flights since Feb 14. The Nok Air is still managing flights for its passengers on a regular charter basis. Airlines such as Thai Airways International, Thai Smile, Thai Lion Air, Thai AirAsia, Thai Viet Air and Nok Scoot have provided chartered flights to substitute for Nok Air’s services.
Transport Minister Arkhom Termpittayapaisith said Nok Air was still figuring out its internal management problems concerning the shortage of pilots. Despite the continuous knocks the company, Patee Sarasin, the airline’s chief executive officer, remains optimistic, and through Twitter expressed that Nok Air would come back with a better service.
“This is what you call a ‘growing pain’. We will be back better for our team, our company and shareholders. And of course for our customers.”
Photot Credit: Jakkrit Prasertwit