Thai Airways president quit because ‘mission was over’

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Thai Airways International Plc’s (THAI) outgoing president Sumeth Damrongchaitham said he decided to resign after “those in power” told him that he was done with his mission.

He said on Friday he had tendered his resignation to pave the way for the THAI board to find a more appropriate replacement who can follow the board’s policy. “We were here on a mission. When those in power said that you’re finished, so we had to go. And we already know what’s going on,” Mr Sumeth said. He said that even if there had been no Covid-19 outbreak, THAI still could not afford to remain the way it is as the national flag carrier.

Mr Sumeth assumed the post of THAI president in September, 2018 and submitted his resignation on Wednesday, effective from April 11. His tenure as THAI president will have lasted 18 months. Nares Phuangyaem, president of THAI’s labour union, questioned why the THAI board had not rejected Mr Sumeth’s resignation. Mr Nares said a change of THAI president during a period of uncertainty will leave the organisation directionless.

Wg Cdr Suthirawat Suwanawat, general manager of Suvarnabhumi airport, also resigned on Wednesday to take responsibility for Thai returnees from South Korea slipping through the screening process. Deputy Prime Minister Prawit Wongsuwon said that he had not yet approved Wg Cdr Suthirawat’s resignation, and that he would discuss details with him shortly.

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