Thai Airways has a bad run at the moment when it comes to their aircraft after some mishap or technical fault and the most recent incident took place once again at Phuket Airport.
After Thai Airways brand new A350 aircraft sheered off the runway and sat there for weeks now a A330 had to abort the takeoff after a loud bang was audible coming from the engine.
Even though Thai Airways has technicians in Phuket and operated a good variety of different aircraft on domestic routes between Bangkok and Phuket (including a Boeing 747) their maintenance options are limited compared to their home base in Bangkok.
You can access the story about the engine malfunction at the Phuket News (see here).
Thai Airways has refused to comment on a flight from Phuket to Bangkok being cancelled after loud bangs were reported coming from one of the plane’s engines while accelerating for takeoff from Phuket International Airport on Tuesday night (Nov 29).
The aircraft “was accelerating for takeoff from runway 09 when the crew rejected takeoff after the right hand engine (PW4168) emitted a loud bang” said the report.
“Ground observers reported there had been a huge bang, the aircraft shuddered, the aircraft began to slow when two more bangs occurred from the right hand engine,” the report added.
A representative of Airports of Thailand (AoT), which operates Phuket International Airport, told The Phuket News, “We were alerted to an incident at 11:20pm that the Airbus was having a technical problem and unable to take off. No injuries were reported.
“The plane returned to the apron and unloaded passengers to another plane to their destination,” said the representative, who asked not to be named.
“We provided a space for the Airbus and it will remain here until it is inspected. For other details of the incident, including the damages, please contact Thai Airways,” he said.
However, staff at the Thai Airways office at Phuket Airport declined to comment and referred enquiries to their Bangkok office. The Thai Airways main office in Bangkok also declined to comment on the incident.
The communication from the side of Thai Airways isn’t exactly encouraging and does much to improve the confidence of the public in the integrity of the airlines safety and maintenance.
You would think that an airline of the size of Thai which is also a member of Star Alliance is keen on providing a proper statement in regards to such an incident but obviously they can’t be bothered to do so.
Edit: Initially I mentioned Chiang Mai instead of Phuket while writing this up which was of course incorrect. Probably had the destination stuck in my mind as I was looking at flights and hotels for CM just a few hours earlier.
LoyaltyLobby has reported a few times over the past year that Thailand’s aviation sector as a whole has been downgraded by the ICAO due to lack of oversight over safety concerns. This matter is certainly not going to get resolved or even improved when companies such as Thai are declining to comment on simple matters such as an engine failure during take off.
While I think that Thai is a nice airline to fly with on occasion I don’t have much trust in their safety record and overall administrative oversight related to these matters.