Evidence of Thai Airways’ corruption, mismanagement, sent to Finance Ministry
The Finance Ministry has received 18 documents that show evidence of corruption and mismanagement at Thai Airways. The evidence was submitted by a Transport Ministry panel on corruption, pending a full investigation into “shady dealings” at the battered national carrier. The airline is currently undergoing a rehabilitation process, having filed for bankruptcy protection earlier this year. It’s understood the former state enterprise has managed to accumulate around 250 billion baht in debts.
Some of the evidence against Thai Airways…
• Sales of discounted tickets to agents
The head of the corruption panel, Komkit Wongsomboon, says sellers of discounted tickets at the airline were given incentives based on numbers sold, not on the value of the tickets or any sales deficit. He says the practice of selling discounted tickets to agents cost the airline billions of baht each year.
• Corruption in maintenance
Evidence has been uncovered that the overtime rate for maintenance workers was increased from 1,500 baht an hour to between 2,000 and 3,000 baht an hour in the case of 200 – 300 employees. This inflation led to losses of 2 billion baht a year. Some employees filed for overtime hours last year which totalled more than their actual rostered hours, along with the penalty rates.
• The Airbus purchase
A catastrophic decision to buy 10 A340 aircraft for around 100 billion baht, followed by a subsequent increase in maintenance costs, resulted in the airline losing money on each of the aircraft and on every flight. It’s understood 9 of them have been decommissioned and are being stored at U-Tapao airport (expect to see them pop up as funky cafés or boutique hotels sometime soon.
The airline, once the pride of the nation, is now turning into an international disgrace and another shameful example of systemic corruption in the public service ranks of Thailand.