HEADLINES [click on headline to view story]:

THAI introduces new limousines for first class passengers

Chiang Maiís aviation hub fortunes stall before take-off?

Spanish-Irish Sara is Emiratesí 5,000th crew member

Thai Pacific Airlines closes down

Looking for actors

THAI introduces new limousines for first class passengers

Pichayamon Vorajayudhbong

Thai Airways International Public Company Limited announced the introduction of its Royal Transfer Service, whereby new Mercedes Benz cars will be used to transport first class passengers from their residence to Bangkok International Airport and vice versa.

Kanok Abhiradee, THAIís president, said that the airline is pleased to offer passengers a service that is more modern, convenient, elegant, and speedy. Therefore, THAI has introduced a new fleet of 100 Mercedes Benz cars, models E 220 CDI and C 180, which have entered THAIís limousine fleet to serve passengers.

Pandit Chanapai (4th from left), Thai Airways Internationalís Thailand area director, and THAIís management team welcomed Rienchai Likitplug (second from right) during THAIís launch of its Royal Transfer Service, whereby new Mercedes Benz cars will be used to transport first class passengers from their residence to Bangkok International Airport and vice versa.

THAIís Royal Transfer Service is a new free Mercedes Benz service, transporting first class passengers without additional expense between their place of residence and Bangkok International Airport.

With THAIís Royal Transfer Service, first class passengers will have the option of choosing to use THAIís limousine service when necessary. They can make reservations to use this service by calling THAIís limousine department, tel. 0-2973-3191, 0-2973-3199, 0-2973-434 ext. 4121-2 (24 hours a day).

One of THAIís new limousines.

THAIís Royal Transfer Service and THAIís limousine service are part of THAIís premium customer services, THAI services with touches of Thai, and are special services that will facilitate THAIís first class passengers. This service was introduced as part of the airlineís corporate identity strategy, supporting THAIís goal to become the number one carrier, available to THAIís first class passengers from this day forward.

Chiang Maiís aviation hub fortunes stall before take-off?

Jiraphat Warasin

The much-vaunted vision of Chiang Mai as an aviation hub seems to have taken a nosedive. Vorapong Muchaotai, president of the Thai Hotels Association, Northern Chapter, said the THA would propose and promote a Visit Chiang Mai Year in 2007 project because the city is not ready to be announced as the aviation hub.

Chiang Mai has also recently taken a drubbing from National Geographic magazine, which said the city was "getting ugly". The cityís tourism, cultural and natural charms were said to have deteriorated.

From left: Vorapong Muchaotai, THA, Northern Chapter president; Pornchai Jitnawasatien, Chiang Mai Mayor Boonlert Buranupakornís secretary; and Deputy Governor Thongchai Wongrianthong.

Hoteliers and government officials grappled with the (mis)fortunes of the city at the THAís bi-monthly meeting on June 23. They were joined by Chiang Mai deputy governor, Thongchai Wongrianthong.

One of the topics of discussion was better cooperation to improve Chiang Maiís image as a leading tourism city.

The numbers of flights in June fell from 150 to 100 because of the low and rainy season. This resulted in a 700 million baht reduction in the provinceís revenue.

Kanaphol Pinkaew, permanent secretary of Chiang Mai Provincial Administration Organization (PAO), said at the meeting that the more tourists and visitors to Chiang Mai, the more income that would be generated. He asked for part of that income to be spent on publishing "Kularb Lanna" or Lanna Rose, a new tourist guide book that contains more than 150 new tourist destinations, revising the Chiang Mai map and tourist spots.

The PAO officials would also erect billboards and signboards with maps informing visitors of the tourism spots, as well as construct more public toilets.

Rattaphol Naradisorn, the Chiang Mai Muang assistant district officer, said that the outdated 1935 laws regulating the hotel business should be amended to be in line with the current situation. Amendments to the Hotel Law, in fact, have been drafted already and will be submitted to Parliament for consideration.

Spanish-Irish Sara is Emiratesí 5,000th crew member

Even though sheís only 23, Sara Luis Hannan is already a world citizen. The daughter of Spanish and Irish parents, she graduated in biochemistry from Imperial College, London and worked in Sioux City American Theme Park, on the Spanish island of Gran Canaria.

Sara Luis Hannan

Now, the smiling senorita has proudly symbolized both the international character of Emirates and its dizzying growth, becoming the airlineís 5,000th cabin crew trainee to graduate and eager to provide the quality service that is the airlineís trademark.

Sara has aviation fuel in her veins - her mother Annette flew with Laker Airways, her sister works for Airbus in Germany, and her teenage brother wants to be a pilot. Bilingual in Spanish and English, she was president of her universityís Spanish Society, secretary of its Irish Society, and treasurer of its biochemistry society. Now the time has come for her to spread her wings wider with high-flying Emirates.

For careers information, visit www.emira tes group which offers a wealth of detail on Emirates. The Dubai-based international airline now serves 76 cities in 54 countries, and has earned more than 250 awards from satisfied customers.

Thai Pacific Airlines closes down

Thai Pacific Airlines has closed down sometime during the past few weeks owing money to staff and to its landlord.

A senior ex-employee, on condition of anonymity, told TTG Daily News the final straw was when the owners of the office building where TPA tried to get started refused entry to staff until rent arrears were settled. "The phones have been cut off and the staff has gone. Thereís nothing left," said the source.

Attempts to contact TPA founder and president, Dr Wasant Singhamany, failed to get a response.

In August last year Dr Wasant said, amid a fanfare of publicity, he planned to start a Bangkok-Sydney service on October 1, using a Boeing 747-200 aircraft. TPAís managing director, Sawanit Singtoroj, said at the time the aircraft would be delivered into Thailand by mid-September.

Sources blame TPAís failure on a mystery billionaire American professor who was supposed to supply cash for the venture, but who could not deliver when it was required. (TTG Asia)

Looking for actors

Jarupas Padmasiri -Hub Ho Hin Bangkok

Are you a little overweight but fluent in English and Thai? Or are you over 50, Australian and also not exactly skinny? Maybe hereís your chance: Hub Ho Hin Bangkok Co. Ltd., one of the leading film production houses in Thailand is urgently searching for new faces. They produced movies like Fanchan [My Girl], Meakhong Full Moon Party, Satree Lek [Iron Ladies I and II]. The coming up film will be Muang Rae [Tin-Mine], where they are looking for foreigners who can act as the boss of the tin mine, but must be able to speak some basic Thai. Tin-Mine will be shot in Phang-gha and Jira Malikul, the director is now in the process of casting to find appropriate actors and actresses

They are looking for 1.) Male - age around 50-55 years old, about 180 cm tall, big (not skinny), native English and basic Thai, to be Australian would be an advantage. 2.) another guy, but preferably half Thai, half foreigner, between 35 -45 years old, should be overweight, but look firm is an advantage. This role needs a height of at least 170 cm and the person has to be fluent in English and Thai.

For anyone who is interested, please send your information [name, age, height, weight], contact number and pictures [close up and full body] via e-mail to Jarupas Padmasiri, Casting Director, [email protected] hub