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Thailand Bulletin For Wednesday, March 6
Roundup of Thailand news with AJW
BKK Weather: 33C
SET Index: 1549
EGAT says power will flow. The reduction in gas supply from Myanmar would cause a problem of low pressure in the electricity supply system in some areas of Bangkok and nearby provinces, but that would not affect people. Bus-stop driver’s rage sentence reduced. School teacher caning student goes viral.
North Korea threatens to cancel 1953 cease-fire. Venezuela's President Hugo Chavez has died, Vice President announced. Chavez's death ends 14 years of tumultuous rule that made the socialist leader a hero for the poor but a hated figure to his opponents. China's old guard leaders bow out today.
- TG AND AIRASIA IN CODE SHARE TALKS: Sorajak Kasemsuvan, President of the country's flag carrier, personally made the overture during a recent meeting in Bangkok with Tony Fernandes, the Chief Executive of Asia's largest and fastest-growing budget carrier group.
It was the first meeting of any kind between the leaders of the two feuding carriers, which over the past decade have publicly made known their intention of trumping each other in the fiercely-competitive airline industry.
THAI has lost considerable domestic and regional market share to AirAsia, whose aggressive expansion is seen as a major threat to several legacy airlines including the state-controlled carrier.
Mr. Sorajak spoke about several cooperation possibilities between the 53-year-old airline and the 20-year-old, no-frills carrier including becoming codeshare partners, a proposal that is raising the eyebrows of industry executives.
Two other ideas he suggested were THAI, AirAsia, and the privately-owned Bangkok Airways joining hands to develop a pilot training pool, and allowing AirAsia to use THAI's aircraft maintenance services.
THAI managed to establish THAI Smile as anM LCC airline but only through a full ownership structure to get around the opposition.
This recently proposed codeshare agreement, with the airlines sharing the same flight, would be between two very different animals - a full-service airline and an LCC - and is seen as very odd.
The launch of Thai Smile looks to take a left-turn with plans now being revealed to shelve the low-cost model. The airline is now into Plan B mode and looking at creating a separate operating entity for the airline.
- MURDEROUS RAGE DRIVER: The Appeals Court has reduced the prison sentence handed down to the son of a former Miss Thailand, who rammed his car into a crowded bus stop 6 years ago, killing one woman and injuring several other people.
Kanpitak Pachimsawat, 24, better known by his nickname "Mu Ham," was charged with premeditated murder, attempted murder, and physical assault in connection with the July 4, 2007 incident.
He drove his Mercedes Benz sedan into a crowd waiting at a bus stop in Bangkok's Watthana district on July 4, 2007, killing one woman and grieviously injuring two other people, following a quarrel with the driver of a bus.
Kanpitak's 10-year sentence was reduced as he suffers from mental illness, his lawyers claimed.
- DJ RECORD HIGH: The Dow Jones Industrial Average powered to an all-time record high overnight exactly 4 years after hitting bottom in the worst economic crisis since the Great Depression.
- CHINA: China's moment of change has come. After a decade in power, President Hu Jintao and Premier Wen Jiabao are stepping aside. Xi Jinping and a new generation are taking over.
- FOOTBALL CHAMPIONS LEAGUE: Real Madrid and Borussia Dortmund became the first teams through to the Champions League quarter-finals with contrasting wins over Manchester United and Shakhtar Donetsk.
Manchester United lost after holding the advantage with a 2-1 lead on aggregate and was turned on its head by a decision by the Turkish referee that was just plain wrong. Just shy of the hour he sent off Nani for a high boot on Alvaro Arbeloa that might have merited a yellow card and United's 10 men never recovered. Even Jose Mourinho conceded: "The best team lost."