THAI AIRWAYS A330 SKIDDS OFF RUNWAY – Thai Airways flight TB679 landed at Bangkok’s Suvarnabhumi airport on a flight from China but skidded off the runway due to technical issues with the landing gear.
TG679 was carrying 228 passengers of which 14 were reported as injured and needing hospitalization as they were evacuated from the aircraft.
In what can only been seen as a bizarre set of events the airline immediate ordered staff to paint over the Thai Airways logo in an attempt to cover up which airline the aircraft belonged to as it lay unable to move from the end of the runway.
According senior executives of Thai Airways this is standard procedure set out by its operating partners Star Alliance Network and is designed to prevent the company from getting ‘bad press’ from any such accident.
However not less than 24 hours later Star Alliance Network issued a press release denying the claims that such a procedure is required of its member Thai International Airways and that no such policy of obscuring an airlines logo, in the event of an accident, exists.
Meebal.com spoke to one insider;
“Thailand has a culture of ‘saving face’ and in this case they didn’t want the world press showing images of a crashed Thai Airways aircraft; it would be perceived as ‘bad for business’.
As with many of the ‘face saving’ ideas that Thai officials come up with this one has also back fired and given the public the impression that Thai Airways is attempting to cover-up the accident instead of getting to the root of the problem to reduce the chance of a repeat accident.
Time and time again ‘face saving’ exercises cause Thai officials nothing more than international embarrassment and this practices needs to be stamped out.”
One other person commented to say that it is irrelevant that Thai Airways painted out the logo for its livery colors alone make it obvious who the aircraft belongs to and is operated by; such a ridiculous attempt at saving face.
Thai Airways has also been accused of being more worried about their image rather than the injured passengers although the Board of Directors Chairman, Ampon Kittiampon, gave a press statement that all passengers were taken proper care of by the 14 members of the flight crew.
He further stated that all but two of the passengers have now left hospital and it is expected that the remaining two will be discharged in the next day or two.
The issue of customer complaints appears to center around not being able to get their luggage but Thai Airway management pointed out that in the event of an accident nothing may be touched until approval has been given by the safety authorities. Senior management at Thai Airways did point out that from today passengers would be able to collect their luggage.
As yet there are no confirmed reports as to what exactly caused the accident and Thai Airways say they are now waiting for Airbus Safety staff and International Air Safety Officials to investigate.