Thai pilot jokes about crashing plane carrying ousted PM

2016-06-13 15:38
An elderly supporter hugs ousted ex-premier Yingluck Shinawatra in the northern Thai province of Lampang. (Christophe Archambault, AFP)

An elderly supporter hugs ousted ex-premier Yingluck Shinawatra in the northern Thai province of Lampang. (Christophe Archambault, AFP)

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

Bangkok – Thai budget airline carrier Nok Air apologised on Monday after one of its pilots joked about crashing a plane carrying ousted premier Yingluck Shinawatra.

The gaffe highlights how hatred towards the Shinawatra political clan still runs deep two years after Yingluck's administration was toppled by a military coup.

The pilot's comments were made in a social media chat group used by Nok Air pilots that was later leaked.

In it a pilot posted a picture of Yingluck about to board their Nok Air flight over the weekend. One chat member responded with "We have prey on board". Another then added "CFIT".

CFIT is an aviation acronym for "controlled flight into terrain", a term used to describe when a pilot unintentionally crashes a plane that has no technical problems.

Panthongtae Shinawatra – the son of Yingluck's brother Thaksin Shinawatra, who was toppled as premier by a 2006 coup – posted the leaked chat on his Facebook.

"Even if the messages about passengers were just kidding, they count as illegal and unacceptable," he wrote.

Nok Air's CEO Patee Sarasin wrote an open apology to Yingluck, saying the pilot's comments did not reflect the company's.

"The airline affirms that we work with good governance to serve all passengers equally with no discrimination," he said, without elaborating what, if any, disciplinary action the pilot would face.

It is not the first time the Shinawatra family has been on the receiving end of airline hostility.

In 2012 Cathay Pacific sacked a Thai stewardess after she posted on Facebook about wanting to throw hot coffee in the face of one of Thaksin's daughters.

The wealthy Shinawatra family are hugely popular in Thailand's poor rural north, where voters have helped them or their proxies win every election since 2001.

That infuriates the Bangkok-based establishment, with its deep military and judicial ties, and arch-royalist southern supporters. They accuse the family of poisoning politics with nepotism and populist policies.

In a response to the Nok Air pilot's comment Yingluck wrote on Facebook that "private attitudes should not be link with professional services".

Read more on:    thailand

Join the conversation! encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.

Inside News24


10 gorgeous plus-sized models who aren't Ashley Graham

Here are just ten of our favourite plus-sized models:


You won't want to miss...

WATCH: Pornhub is giving users free access to premium content these holidays
5 top leg exercises for men
10 best dressed men of 2017
How to open a beer bottle without an opener
Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire network.


Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.