THAILAND: Thai Airways fires cargo chief over lease deal

Thai Airways International has fired executive vice-president Pruet Boobphakam after investigations into irregularities involving a deal to lease two freighter aircraft from US-based Southern Air. The probe found that Pruet failed to comply with the airline’s procurement protocol and intentionally reported inaccurate key data involving the deal. Under the deal with Southern Air, Thai Airways […]


Thai Airways International has fired executive vice-president Pruet Boobphakam after investigations into irregularities involving a deal to lease two freighter aircraft from US-based Southern Air. The probe found that Pruet failed to comply with the airline’s procurement protocol and intentionally reported inaccurate key data involving the deal. Under the deal with Southern Air, Thai Airways agreed to lease two Boeing 777-200 freighters for two years, starting in March as the cargo carrier worked to rebuild its position in the maindeck market after an absence of two years.

In July, Thai Airways president Piyasvasti Amranand said the deal was signed two weeks before he took office in October last year and the fee appeared to be higher than normal. Pruet – who had been seen as a leading light that would help boost the cargo division to its former glory – had been suspended from his post since mid-July and served as the company’s special adviser during the probe. Meanwhile, Thai Airways International’s board has approved in principle a plan to lease eight Boeing 777-300ER passenger aircraft from Bank of China’s aircraft leasing unit BOC Aviation. Under the deal, Thai Airways is expected to lease the eight B777s for 12 years, under an operating lease method, at a monthly rate of US$1.15 million per aircraft, with an additional commitment fee of $5.87 million for each aircraft.