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The reopened Phuket airport One-Two-Go counter may not be this busy

One-Two-Go Flies to Phuket Today

Friday, December 5, 2008
Today's Photo Album

ONE-TWO-Go is back. The airline resumes flights to Phuket today for the first time since the aftermath of one of its planes crashing at the island's airport in in September 2007, killing 90 passengers and crew.

Flight OG8201 from Bangkok,due at Phuket at 12.25pm, eventually landed just before 2pm, an hour after the return flight to Bangkok was due to take off.

Today's Bangkok-Phuket-Bangkok flight was one of three flights as part of the budget airline's King's Birthday comeback. The other two are from Bangkok to Chiang Mai.

In other airline news, from 11am today Suvarnabhumi airport, Bangkok's major international terminal, will mark what is being termed a ''technical return'' to full operations.

But there are belated concerns about security. Ever since it opened, the airport has had no entrance scanners or controls, allowing anyone to come and go.

The People's Alliance for Democracy simply walked in and put Thailand tourism in a tailspin for a week with an airport blockade.

By coincidence, a terrorist attack on resorts, restaurants and tourists in Mumbai, India, took place about the same time, sending a red alert message to security chiefs around the world.

Much of the attention now being paid to visitors' tourist visas and, coming up in the new year, to Burmese workers on Phuket is aimed at improving Thailand's security against attacks.

The One-Two-Go office has been reopened at Phuket International Airport, where scanners greet all visitors, but attention has been focused over the past few days on the crippling airports blockade in Bangkok.

The airline, Thailand's first budget carrier, is hoping public confidence will quickly restore the popularity that disappeared with the 2007 crash.

Banned from flying by the Department of Civil Aviation on safety grounds, One-Two-Go has now won back its licence.

Udom Tantiprasongchai, president of Orient Thai airline, the parent company of One-Two-Go, is quoted online today as saying: ''I will assess the situation one week after we resume operations.

''If passengers seem confident, we will expand to recover our previous routes." These include Chiang Rai, Hat Yai and Naknon Si Thammarat.

The Director-General of the Civil Aviation Department, Chaisak Angkasuwan, told Phuketwan today that the airline had beed relicensed on November 25 after passing safety checks.

He added that One-Two-Go was renting planes from Orient Thai and employing Orient Thai pilots. The airline had initially been suspended for 30 days, but that was extended three times.

A full report of the findings of the investigation into the crash of One-Two-Go Flight 269 on September 16, 2007, is in the hands of Thai authorities but has yet to be released.

Diplomatic community sources told Phuketwan mid-year that Thai authorities had informed them that the release of the full findings was unlikely before January, 2009.

While holding back the full report, Thai aviation officials have said that the crash was largely the result of pilot error combined with a sudden gusty storm that drove the aircraft into the tarmac as it attempted to land.

Critics have since raised the issue of the reaction time of rescuers and the effect of a mound of earth beside the tarmac.

Forty of the 130 people on board the MD-80 survived.

Some of the survivors and relatives of the victims have begun court actions against One-Two-Go and compiled their own expert review of the causes of the mishap.

The budget airline has been suspended since July 21. Announcing One-Two-Go's return, the airline website said: "Answering to your strong demands for safe, reliable and affordable air travel, we are pleased to announce that One Two Go Airlines, with persistent efforts, has successfully passed an in-depth audit by the Department of Civil Aviation which concluded that One Two Go is in full compliance with all safety and operational requirements. We appreciate your patience and immense supports and are ready, with renewed dedication, to serve you by our heart with our most friendly services from December, 5, 2008."

Essential Reading:

Survivors Still Await One-Two-Go Crash Report
One year on, what caused Flight 269 to crash at the island's international airport last September 16? Authorities have had access to a full report, but not the survivors or the flying public.
Survivors Still Await One-Two-Go Crash Report

Protest Delays One-Two-Go Crash Report
The work of Government officials is being slowed because the attention of senior people is being diverted by the protest. Now the full One Two Go air crash report has been put back yet again.
Protest Delays One-Two-Go Crash Report

Phuket Victim Welcomes One-Two-Go Report
The major finding of a report on Phuket's One-Two-Go air disaster has been released and one of the survivors believes it will be a step towards closure for many. But questions about the adequacy of pilot training remain.
Phuket Victim Welcomes One-Two-Go Report

DCA Report Lashes One-Two-Go Safety Standards
The Director General of Thailand's Department of Civil Aviation has delivered a strongly critical report following the department's investigation of the One Two Go airline and its parent, Orient Thai.
DCA Report Lashes One-Two-Go Safety Standards

Law Suits Fly As Experts Dither
The crash of One Two Go Flight 269 disturbed a peaceful Phuket Sunday in 2007, just as the tsunami had done a few years previously. Now the tragedy seems destined for extensive international court action in search of justice and the truth.
Law Suits Fly As Experts Dither

I Am Flying Again: Phuket Plane Crash Survivor
A Superman suit and a decompression chamber help a Phuket plane crash victim to fly again. But Robert Borland still wants the answer to one important question: why?
I Am Flying Again: Phuket Plane Crash Survivor

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