Airlines reject Thai airport move
Star Alliance rejects government plans to move from problem-hit new airport.
Last updated: 16 Feb 2007 07:38
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Bangkok's $4bn new airport has been
plagued by problems [EPA]
One of the world’s biggest airline groups has rejected moves by the Thai government to relocate some flights from Bangkok’s problem-hit new airport back to the capital’s old airport.
Star Alliance, which includes Thailand’s flag carrier Thai Airways among its members, said it preferred to keep all its flights at the new Suvarnabhumi Airport.
The Thai government has been proposing reopening the old Don Muang airport as a permanent second international hub.
Suvarnabhumi, which was promoted as a flagship project for Thailand, has been dogged by problems since it opened in September last year.
Engineers are currently working to repair hundreds of cracks that have appeared in the runways and taxiways.
The cracks have forced authorities to close parts of the airport, including several airbridges used to transfer passengers to and from aircraft.
The government says the problems were caused by design flaws and alleged corruption during the airport’s construction and are not a safety issue.
The government plans to reopen the capital's
old airport at Don Muang [Reuters]
Thai Airways was the first to say earlier this week that it saw no need to divide its international flights between two airports.
It said the move could prove confusing to travellers and seemed unnecessary, since Suvarnabhumi was "safe for operation."
In its own statement on Friday Star Alliance said its members "fully endorse" the decision of Thai Airways and all its members have signalled their intention to stay "under one roof at the new Suvarnabhumi Airport."
Nine of Star Alliance’s 20 member airlines fly to and from Bangkok.
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