Pilots: No plan to strike against THAI

Thai Pilots Association members have no plan to go on strike to push for the ouster of the chairman of Thai Airways International (THAI), its president said on Monday.

Wichayuth Ketpanya said the association had nothing to do with the conflict at the national airline because its members consisted of pilots from a variety of airlines, not just THAI.

The association did not discuss any issues concerning THAI at its annual meeting last Sunday, he said.

The THAI labour union has been demanding the ouster of THAI chairman Ampon Kittiampon.

It also opposes the appointment of THAI senior executive vice-president Chokchai Panyayong as acting THAI president following the recent resignation of Sorajak Kasemsuvan as THAI president.

Mr Wichayuth said some association members who are members of the THAI union have the right to support the union's demand.

He admitted that last Sunday THAI pilots invited Mr Chokchai to meet them to inquire about the company's losses, the operations of its subsidiary THAI Smile, and measures to cut THAI's costs that stand to affect the pilots.

He considered as reasonable Mr Chokchai's explanation that THAI posted a loss because of its new aircraft acquisitions.

Meanwhile, Mr Chokchai said THAI pilots had not mentioned any demand for the ouster of THAI chairman Ampon but they had focused on reasons behind the loss, the services of THAI Smile that might affect THAI and cost-cutting plans at THAI. He dismissed a rumour that THAI pilots would go on strike.

According to a THAI source, the labour union is trying to persuade THAI pilots to go on strike to support its repeated demand for the dismissal of Mr Ampon as the chairman and Mr Chokchai.

The union accuses Mr Ampon of interfering with THAI management and Mr Chokchai of causing a multi-billion-baht loss to the national airline last year.

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