Last week, the THAI Airways Board announced it wold replace the President. There was some controversy as Norahuch Ployyai, an executive vice-president, was to be made Acting President, but he has a connection with Thaksin:

Mr Norahuch, a THAI employee since 1978, was a classmate of former prime minister Thaksin Shinawatra in Class 10 at the Armed Forces Academies Preparatory School.

The THAI Labour Union went nuts and the Chairman overruled the Board and the current President Apinan Sumanaseni kept his job. Today, though comes this interesting snippet from the Bangkok Post:

A member of the Thai Airways International (THAI) board has resigned in protest over the decision to allow airline president Apinan Sumanaseni keep his job.

Ratchanee Treepipatkul, who sat on the board as a senior auditor from the private sector, said yesterday she had already quit her post because she could not perform her duties fully.

A source at the national airline said Miss Ratchanee, who is a director of P. Overseas Steel Co, had found evidence of corruption by THAI management.

The findings coincided with a number of anonymous complaints that THAI’s management concealed from the airline’s board information about its plan to buy eight Airbus A330-300 aircraft.

There were also complaints over the unfair promotion of pilots to executive positions that led to internal conflicts. Miss Ratchanee was the board member who had proposed the removal of the airline’s president.

Last Thursday, the THAI board initially agreed to suspend Mr Apinan, but hours later it reinstated him following a protest by a group of pilots.

The following day, Miss Ratchanee informed the meeting of the board of her intention to quit.

BP: Hmm. Now, imagine if he was a Thaksin appointee and accusations of corruption, wouldn’t the press have a field day? I agree with Thai Crisis on the poor state of Thai Airways. With their militant labour union and the nationalists, there is little hope of the airline being flogged off so the government is stuck with its 51% share.

btw, I can’t find any link between Ratchanee Treepipatkul or P. Overseas Steel Co and Thaksin – surely if there was she would have been “purged” after the coup.

In other Thai Airways news, the airline has pleaded guilty to price-fixing and could face a fine of up to US$300 million.