Roundup of Thailand news with AJW



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Government accepts it will lose on rice debacle. Grandma Moi wins compensation. Lessons learned after Bkk Governor election. Don Mueang to reopen terminal 2.


Chavez’s last words: “Please don’t let me die.” North Korea vows to “strike” US if sanctions tighten. Berlusconi sentenced to year in jail, will appeal.


– DON MUEANG AIRPORT BKK: Airports of Thailand expect 27.5 million passengers to use Don Mueang Airport by 2016 after it reopens Terminal 2 which is to refurbished.

Don Mueang uses Terminal 1 for its present operation for low-cost airlines for domestic and international routes.

Nok Air, Thai AirAsia, AirAsia, Indonesia AirAsia, and One-Two-Go Orient Thai are among the no-frills airlines using Don Mueang after moving their operations from Suvarnabhumi.

It handled 6 million passengers in the first 5 months of its fiscal year starting October 2012 and AoT is confident that 10 million more will be added over the next 9 months.

The role of Don Mueang was relegated to a secondary airport for the capital after the opening of Suvarnabhumi Airport in 2006.

The combination of the 2 airports will enable Thailand to handle 87.5 million air travelers a year in 2016.

– PHANTOM OF THE OPERA: The internationally- and critically-acclaimed masterpiece, will be staged in Bangkok at Muangthai Rachadalai Theatre. As the longest running musical on Broadway, “The Phantom” recently celebrated its 25th year and has won more than 50 major theatre awards, including seven Tonys.

The musical tells the story of a disfigured genius known only as “The Phantom” who haunts the depths of the Paris Opera House. Mesmerized by the talents and beauty of a young soprano, Christine, The Phantom lures her as his protege and falls fiercely in love with her. Unaware of Christine’s love for Raoul, The Phantom’s obsession sets the scene for a dramatic turn of events where jealously, madness, and passions collide.

Andrew Lloyd Webber’s musical is based upon the novel Le Fantome De L’Opera by Gaston Leroux. The original London show was produced by Cameron Mackintosh. Presented in Thailand by BEC-Tero Scenario from May 7 to June 9 (except Mondays).

– AIRASIA PHUKET: AirAsia is increasing the number of flights it operates between Bangkok (Don Mueang) and Phuket, to 10 flights a day.

To celebrate the new additional flight, promotional all-inclusive fares are being offered as one way bookable until March 17 for May-November flights this year.

Mr. Tassapon Bijleveld, CEO of Thai AirAsia, said, “From April 30, 2013, AirAsia will be offering up to 10 direct flights a day from Bangkok to Phuket, the airline’s southern flight hub and Thailand’s number one domestic and international tourist destination. The island is busy year round and as a commercial center, traveler numbers are constantly increasing. AirAsia is confident that its additional flights will prove popular.”

– SOUTH AFRICAN COP QUITS: Hilton Botha, the detective who bungled investigations into the case against Paralympian star sprinter, Oscar Pistorius, has quit the force, South African police say.

– SABAH INVASION: Malaysia has rejected a call for a ceasefire by a Philippine Muslim clan who launched an incursion into a village in Sabah last month, saying the land belongs to them. PM Najib Razak said they want the group “to unconditionally surrender.”

– BHUTAN: Most people’s fears about flying are unfounded: it’s a remarkably safe form of travel, especially on large, commercial airlines.

But for anyone headed to Bhutan, a little fear of air travel is totally justified. The small country’s only international airport is called Paro, and like the rest of the mostly Buddhist nation, it is nestled among the Himalayan Mountains.

The neighboring 18,000-foot mountains and unusually short runway make for some of the world’s most difficult takeoffs and landings. In fact, only 8 pilots are qualified to land there.

But for those who can handle the danger, a trip to Paro also offers breathtaking views of the mountains.

– CHIANG MAI HEIST: Police investigating the disappearance of 9.2 million baht in cash from a Krungthai Bank armored truck in Chiang Mai say the story of one of the 3 guards forgetting his wallet and returning to the van to fetch it is suspicious.

– THAI HIGH: Consumer confidence last month reached its highest level in 19 months, driven mainly by economic expansion, fiscal stimulus, and higher purchasing power, according to the Centre for Economic and Business Forecasting.