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A dark day that Phuket does not want repeated

Airline Setbacks Will Slow Phuket, Too

Tuesday, July 22, 2008
TRENDS

IT IS PROBABLY only a matter of time now before Phuket feels the airlines pinch. Depending on flights for its tourism lifeblood, the whole Andaman region should prepare now for a deep, deep low season.

Carriers around the world are reacting to rising oil prices, although unlike One-Two-Go, they do not have safety issues to resolve.

Qantas, BA, Thai Air, Ryanair, China Airlines, Delta, Spanair and Norwegian Air are among the brands that have cut routes and, in some cases, staff.

The number of passengers passing through Thai airports remains slightly up on last year but is steadily slipping back day by day.

About 25 airlines have closed already this year. Industry experts are warning that further failures in the travel industry are certain.

The reliable Bloomberg news agency reports that air industry losses may total more than $6.1 billion this year, the worst since 2003, according to the International Air Transport Association.

It's shaping as a double-whammy for the island's property industry as well.

While some salespeople continue to talk up the short-term property outlook, Phuket is not immune from the global downturn.

Economists are now predicting a recession across Europe that will be worse than in the US.

According to Britain's Daily Telegraph, Spain is now spiralling into the worst crisis since the Franco dictatorship.

''The economy is in dire straits,'' one expert is quoted as saying.

''Some of the house builders are going to go bust, it is as simple as that. Over 10 percent of Spain's economy has been building houses.

''This compares with six percent to seven percent in the US at the height of the bubble. The adjustment will be enormous,'' he told the Telegraph.

Spain and Phuket share delightful weather, and an unhealthy dependence on tourism and property.


Up and Away: One-Two-Going Places?

ONE-TWO-GO and Orient Thai Airlines owner and CEO Udom Tantiprasongchai is focussing on the future.

He has vowed to continue in business despite the Department of Civil Aviation grounding both carriers for 30 days.

He told The Nation that One-Two-Go was negotiating with a consortium of investors from Hong Kong, the US and Singapore.

One-Two-Go will increase capital and be upgraded to a full-service carrier to compete with rivals, including Thai Airways International, he was quoted as saying.

According to its online site, One-Two-Go flies 16 aircraft that until today operated more than 200 domestic flights a week, capable of carrying more than 100,000 passengers a month.

Passengers or businesses who have bookings for the 30 days that both airlines are grounded will now be seeking compensation.

The ever-positive Khun Udom told the Bangkok Post that the nine pilots who allegedly falsified documents were sacked on July 8.

He told the newspaper that he had not previously known about the pilots' incorrect documents and believed the airline could make all the changes required within the 30 days

An Island in Full Bloom

SMELL the roses. Relax. The annual Phuket Flower Festival opens at Saphan Hin in Phuket City on Thursday, July 24, and runs until August 2.

Many resorts in the region have spectacular displays of locally grown tropical blooms. Here's a good opportunity to see the best put on show by the proud producers.

Want to improve your green thumb? Here's a great place to go to seek advice.

The local farmers say they can barely keep up with demand, such is the beauty of their products. Some make as much as three million baht a year.

As with all Thai festivals, there will be plenty of tasty food available, too.

Latest
TRENDS
from Phuketwan:

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Sunday October 17, 2021
Horizon Karon Beach Resort & Spa

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