Updated: Taxpayers slugged for royal whims

28 03 2020

Long in trouble, bleeding money and with a President who has recently resigned, the coronavirus is a disaster for the struggling Thai Airways.

How to make it worse? Force the airline to keep flying to suit the king’s whims and fancies.

Thai Airways has announced that, from 1 April, it will cease flying to almost all of its European destinations. Compare the destination list and the cancellations and it is seen that flights will continue to Munich and Zurich.

The only reason for these flights continuing flights to Munich is because King Vajiralongkorn is living in Germany, currently ensconced in a luxury hotel where he rents every room.

Why Zurich? Andrew McGregor Marshall has previously reported that Queen Suthida prefers to hang out in luxury resorts in the mountains of Switzerland. The king has been reported holidaying and cycling in Switzerland too.

Marshall has also reported that the king plans to return to Bangkok early in April for a few days.

In other words, in a country where the regime has few funds are available for the poor – and they are hardest hit by the virus crisis – the Thai taxpayer is forking out extra millions for the country’s richest person to do as he pleases.

Update: The slug for taxpayers came faster than we imagined. In a report we missed at the time we wrote the above post, Khaosod has reported that the regime “will inject a new round of cash bailout for Thai Airways, whose operations have been devastated by the coronavirus pandemic.” Of course, some of that bailout will fund the king’s and queen’s travels. The exact amount to be paid remains unknown as “the state enterprise board is discussing with the airline and transport ministry on the details of the financial assistance.” The report notes that “[a]ccording to … February data, Thai Airways has an accumulative loss of 12 billion baht.”



2 responses

31 03 2020
Thai Airways, masks, poor policy | Political Prisoners in Thailand

[…] of the coronavirus crisis.” We guess this is partly because the airline needs to continue to chauffeur the king and his major wife back and forth to […]

5 04 2020
Where’s Wally? | Political Prisoners in Thailand

[…] After previously keeping flights to Zurich and Munich, the company recently said it had suspended all flights to Europe. So why the lone flight to Zurich? We can guess. […]

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