New Pilots

Nok Air cancels 20 flights due to shortage of pilots

2016 03 19

Thailand's Nok Air cancels 20 flights due to shortage of pilots.

The budget airline's allied carriers - Thai Smile Airways, Thai Lion Air and Thai Airways International. - will carry passengers booked on cancelled flights, Nok Air chief executive officer Patee Sarasin said in a Facebook message.

NOK AIR will ground an additional 20 flights scheduled for service on Tuesday following the abrupt cancellation of 17 flights last Sunday because of a pilot strike, the airline announced yesterday.

Patee said Nok Air's passengers did not need to worry.

In a statement released yesterday, the budget airline said it would not operate flights to and from Don Mueang International Airport in Bangkok as well as to and from Hat Yai, Nakhon Si Thammarat, Surat Thani, Trang, Phitsanulok, Chiang Rai, Udon Thani, Ubon Ratchathani, Sakon Nakhon and Khon Kaen provinces.

A Nok Air source described the flight cancellations as a normal practice given the airline was in the process of resolving an internal management problem. Flight schedules are normally amended or cancelled according to the company's current resources and capacity, the source added.

The source said the passengers of cancelled flights would be compensated in accordance with Department of Civil Aviation regulations.

Nok Air has started paying compensation to the passengers affected by last Sunday's flight cancellations, the airline said in a statement issued on Friday.

The airline has informed the Civil Aviation Authority of Thailand about the flight cancellations, it said. More than 3,000 Nok Air passengers were left stranded at airports last Sunday.

Some of the striking pilots are dissatisfied over the airline not passing a new aviation management audit based on European Aviation Safety Agency standards.

In its statement, the airline said it would not comment on an internal human resource issue as it reserves the right to confidentiality and it would not respond to rumours.

Nok Air said it would announce any update on the matter via social media.

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