Skal International continues
its good work in Chiang Mai
Although the Skal International Club of North Thailand is
currently not operational (hopefully a temporary situation), the club is
still able to honor some of its pledges through the National Committee of
Skal International Thailand.
One of the projects committed to several years ago was to
provide funds to support the education of Miss Ananya Jumpasi, through the
Sem Pringpuankeo Foundation. Since the Skal International Club of North
Thailand still had funds available (being held by the Skal International
National Committee), the club was able to donate 18,000 baht to cover her
further education in vocational college for the next two years.
Thomas (3rd right) of the Skal International National Executive Committee
presents a cheque, on behalf of the former Skal International Club of North
Thailand, to Uraiwan Pakkasem (Dr. Sem Pringpuankeo Foundation), with
Michael Vogt (active Skal member), Margaret Bhadungzong and Marc Dumur (both
past presidents of Skal International North Thailand), and staff of the Sem
This young girl is one of 1047 children assisted by the
Sem Pringpuangkeo Foundation, which, in conjunction with the Toyota Thailand
Foundation, launched the Foster Parents Project in 1995.
This cooperation was brought about following the spread of AIDS in
Thailand since 1989, which has had a significant impact on Thai society and
families. Much of the mortality comes from the six upper northern provinces
of Chiang Mai, Chiang Rai, Lamphun, Lampang, Phayao and Mae Hong Son. Once
the parents lose their lives to AIDS, the burden of raising these children
would usually fall on their grandparents or relatives who have far too low
standard income. This is where the Foster Parents Project comes in.
THAI looking ahead
Acquiring modern, high technology aircraft
At their recent board meeting, Thai Airways
International Public Company Limited (THAI) announced that they plan to
acquire 14 new aircraft to fulfill their future direction.
Abhiradee (fifth from right), THAI president, welcomes Sontaya Khunplome
(4th from left) minister of tourism and sports, during the airline’s
“Low Season Marketing Strategy” meeting. Also present were
representatives from the Tourism Council of Thailand, Thailand Hotel
Association, and Asia Pacific Tourism Promotion Association.
THAI’s board of directors approved the long term
fleet plan 2005/06-2009/10 to accommodate the company’s continued growth
and effectively compete in the airline industry. The long term fleet plan
is part of their corporate strategy to become the region’s leading
carrier by acquiring modern, high technology aircraft, equipped with state
of the art in-flight products and entertainment systems.
The plan includes six super long-range aircraft
equipped with 500 seats, one super long-range medium size aircraft, and
seven long-range medium size aircraft, a total of 14 new aircraft.
THAI’s long term fleet plan will support the
airline’s competitive marketing plan by network expansion and strong
product, utilizing super long range aircraft serving intercontinental
destinations. In addition, the super long-range medium size aircraft will
be used on routes to the United States with an increase in flight
frequency as well.
The long-range medium size aircraft will be mainly
operated on flights to Australia.
THAI’s board of directors has approved the following
management appointments: Vasing Kittikul, executive vice president for
customer services, as executive vice president for commercial.
Flg. Officer Chinawut Naressaenee, executive vice president standards
and general administration as executive vice president for customer
services, effective as of October 1, 2004.
Nok Air gives itself
three months to settle in
Air travel within all our reaches?
Until a short while ago budget or no frills airlines were
non existent in Thailand. Then suddenly the competition started with three new
airlines serving the Chiang Mai route, all successfully. Newcomer Nok Air
(‘Nok’ in Thai means bird) proudly boasts 80 percent bookings throughout
the first month of operation.
Abhiradee, president of THAI and Patee Sarasin, CEO Nok Air express what they
think about the future of Nok Air.
What is the history and who are those behind Nok Air? The
name Nok Air is registered under Sky Asia Co., Ltd., a joint venture between
public and private investors. Sky Asia is the operations company with its
Chairman being Dr. Chirayu Isarngkun Na Ayuthaya.
Principal shareholders include THAI International Public
Company Ltd, the Crown Property Bureau, Siam Commercial Bank, Krung Thai Bank
and other individual investors.
Kanok Abhiradee, president of THAI International spoke on
the involvement between THAI and Nok Air. “There is a close relationship
between Nok and THAI as we have blessed this scheme from the very first step.
Initially it was put up as a primary project, providing back-up in regards of
maintenance, where THAI is the service provider, leaving marketing completely
to the Nok management team. With THAI taking care of safety, consumers can rely
on Nok Air aircraft complying fully with the same safety standard as THAI. Its
current aircraft are all leased from us with highly experienced crews. I would
be disappointed if it would not work out. Let’s talk again after the first
Dr. Chirayu Isarngkun Na Ayuthaya also said that the next
three month will show if they have reached the people who never used to travel
before. He was happy with the level of competition, as he said no competition
would be very unhealthy, but with good competitors everybody will stay alert
which is for the good of everyone.
Patee Sarasin, chief executive officer of Nok Air, also saw no conflict of
interest in the shared board of THAI and Nok Air. Patee said, “We work
closely together with THAI but we are an independent company already thinking
about expansion. We could only lease three aircraft from THAI, but we have
spoken to Boeing and three to five more aircraft are under consideration.
Families will now have more opportunities for reunion and business travelers
will now be able to pay more sensible prices for airfares. In terms of flight
operations Nok Air will be flying to all parts of Thailand, with Chiang Mai,
Hat Yai, Udon Thani, and Phuket as planned destinations during 2004. We try
very hard to add value to our passengers. Nok Plus is an example of how we
offer this value. Nok Plus seats are business class, 12 seats, offered on each
flight at 500 baht on top of the fare price. Nok Air is the only low cost
airline in Asia to offer business class seat at an affordable price.”
Chiang Rai governor envisions
cable car to Myanmar and Laos
Will it get off the ground?
Kongkaew, Public Relations Department
The Chiang Rai governor has plans for a cable car system
across the borders to Myanmar and Laos in the Chiang Saen district.
Governor Narin Panitchakit called a meeting with the heads
of government offices, district officers of Chiang Saen, and relevant agencies
such as the Wiang, Chiang Saen Tambon Administration Organization, Customs,
Immigration, and Public Works, to put his ideas into motion.
He said this meeting was a preparatory step to accelerate
the development of Chiang Rai province to become ‘the Golden Gate of Lanna
culture and international trade, with the land of Thai beauty and tourism
This follows PM Thaksin Shinawatra’s visit to Chiang Rai
on July 19, when he agreed with guidelines to construct a cable car system
linking the three countries. It should not exceed 180 million baht.
Governor Narin said that the private sector would be the
main investor, and provincial authorities would collect fees to pay off the
project within five years.
If it is constructed, the tourism potential should increase.
The Burmese authorities have agreed to the idea in principle, but a reaction
from Laos is still awaited.
The construction would begin at the Thai side at Ban
Sobruak, in the Golden Triangle area, to be linked with Triangle Island, at
Paradise Hotel inside Myanmar, a distance of about 50 meters. It will cross the
Mekong River to connect with Laos over a distance of about 1,400 meters.
Construction work would take about two years to complete,
the governor said.