The president of Thai Airways and the director of Suvarnabhumi International Airport have separately tendered their resignation letters on March 12 as the coronavirus deepens the engulfing crisis in the aviation industry.
According to local reporters, President Sumeth Damrongchaitham and Director Sutheerawat Suwannawat were dismayed over the Thai government’s incompetent handling of the COVID-19 situation following the careless implementation of travel restrictions and quarantine procedures.
“The situation has caused a messy blancmange of ministerial announcements, contradictions, non-clarifying clarifications and confusion for domestic and international travelers,” the Thaiger News wrote in one article.
Sumeth decided to step down from the top post because he was disappointed by the Thai Ministry of Transport’s lack of assistance as he strives to fight the economic impact of the coronavirus.
The said agency has reportedly sent back and rejected Sumeth’s proposal to solve the problems and rehabilitate the loss of the country’s flag carrier.
Meanwhile, Sutheerawat’s resignation was confirmed by the Airports of Thailand (AoT) chief Nitinai Sirismatthakarn during a press conference.
He said the director resigned to take “personal responsibility” over the case of the Thai travelers who escape coronavirus screening at the Suvarnabhumi international airport.
Around 80 Thais who returned to the country on March 7, after illegally working from South Korea, managed to escape a restricted area in the airport as they reluctantly refused to get tested or quarantined.
However, a media source contended that the real reason behind Sutheerawat’s resignation was due to his frustration over the government officials from the military and health departments who declined to cooperate in screening the airport passengers.
The Thai government has yet to comment on the resignation of the two most prominent bosses in the country’s airline sector.