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.
The Department of Civil Aviation will today release the report on the crash of One Two Go Flight 269 on Phuket last year. The report has ramifications for continuing confidence in budget airlines; Golf caddy query; Tsunami movie hit.
Phuket Air Crash Report Due For Release
While Phuket resorts wait to see what August and September bring, some have contingency plans for staff layoffs. How deep will the oil price crisis bite? Surf carnival time; Your own tuk-tuk; Choosing a restaurant.
Jobs at Risk as Phuket Tourist Numbers Dive
A new festival on an island off Phuket is set to capture traditional life, and perhaps even the buffaloes that will be ridden and raced; The difference between Phuket Town and Phuket City, invisible people.
Buffalo Festival A First For Phuket
The piling went in but the Patong resort management discovered the classy new villas were above the 80 metre height limit. What to do? Three die in Patong landslip; Detox spa for Patong.
Patong Resort Cancels Villas For Height Breach
Phuket's hilltop Big Buddha is already attracting a steady stream of tourists and many Buddhist temples warrant visits, too; Patong tailors strike back with a honeymoon treat.
Temple Ceremonies Deserve An Audience
So it's Goodbye, Khun Suwalai. As Phuket tourism faces a new crisis, the TAT director who led the recovery after the tsunami heads for Europe and a new role. Her replacement is coming from New York
Phuket TAT Director Bound For Europe
Six months of waiting is over for the sailor at the centre of a strange night on board the Merlin that led to the death of a frogman; pawn shops record highlights economic downturn; minister quits after protests.
Kata Killing: Merlin Skipper Ready To Sail
Phuket's local authorities agree on a rubbish recycling plan; Treasury backs an island conference centre; Dubai resorts in tourism numbers crunch; New Phang Nga park planned; Burma cyclone latest.
Deal on Recycling Brings Hope For Phuket
First you see them, now you don't. One big brand is no longer going ahead with a large Phang Nga resort deal; twice daily tsunami warnings; Penang roadshow; Philippines gamble.
Big Brand Pulls Out of Khao Lak Deal