16.10.2010 | news Gregers Moller
New Air Services Agreements between Thailand and Denmark, Norway, and Sweden were on Friday 15 October signed by Kasit Piromya, Minister of Foreign Affairs of Thailand, Michael Sternberg, Ambassador of Denmark, Katja Nordgaard, Ambassador of Norway, and Lennart Linnér, Ambassador of Sweden.
It was about time, too. The previous agreements dated back to 1949.
According to the signatories to the new agreements, the new paragraphs in the agreements are mostly updates that reflect the current global aviation market and take into account European Union rules and regulations.
The agreements allows for Thai Airways International and SAS to continue operating with unlimited capacities and frequencies, both for the transport of passengers and cargoes, and to transit at any points. In addition, aviation safety will be improved in accordance with the requirements of the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO).
Some articles on fair competition are also included to ensure equal opportunities among the airlines of the parties – a benefit of which would fall directly upon the consumers, a prwess release from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs explain.
At the ceremony held at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the diplomats also signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) on Co-operation between the Scandinavian Countries and Thailand regarding Scandinavian Airlines System and the Designation of Airlines.
According to this MOU, the three airlines under the Scandinavian Airlines System (SAS), namely SAS Denmark A/S, SAS Norge AS and SAS Sverige AB, are allowed to operate services with aircrafts, crews and equipments belonging to any of the three companies. Thai Airways International is designated by the Thai side to operate aviation services in accordance with the Agreements.
At present, there are altogether 28 direct flights per week between Thailand and the Scandinavian countries.
Thai Airways International operates seven direct flights weekly for each of the three routes, Bangkok - Copenhagen, Bangkok - Oslo and Bangkok – Stockholm.
SAS operates seven flights weekly between Copenhagen and Bangkok.
After the signing of the agreements, Foreign Minister Kasit Piromya held a short speech touching on the close cooperation on aviation between Thailand and the three Scandinavian countries. In 1960, SAS even helped Thailand establish Thai Airways International and held as a 30 oercent share in the company untill 1977 when Thailand bought back the last remaining shares.
He also said that he was proud that time and again Thailand was voted the best tourism destination in the three Nordic countries.
Michael Sternberg, the Danish Ambassador, elaborated on this significant trend in a brief reply speech in which he predicted an even further increase in tourism. He had personally expected a slump in tourism following the incidents in April and May this year, he said, but it did not occur.
"There is an affinity between our countries, that cannot be so easily destroyed," he said, adding that we would no doubt see economic ties develop further as well.
Also President of the Thai-Norwegian Chamber of Commerce, Axel Blom, President of the Thai-Swedish Chamber of Commerce, Kenneth Radencrantz, Executive Director of the Danish-Thai Chamber of Commerce, Katrine Praest, and Regional Managing Director of SAS Niels Henrik Hansen, were present at the signing ceremony.
Niels Henrik Hansen said the agreement could lead to a further development of the cooporation between SAS and Thai Airways International, both members of the Star Alliance group, and expand the market.
Ambassador Sternberg added that with the strengthening of the Thai Baht, Denmark had actually recently become a lot more affordable for many Thais.
"If they would like to take advantage of their new buying power, they are most welcome," he said.