The Civil Aviation Authority of Thailand (CAAT) has warned Thai VietJet Air that it could face punitive action if it does not comply with air service rules. The warning comes after its three flights on the Bangkok-Phuket route were cancelled on Thursday, causing inconvenience to many passengers.
The CAAT has summoned executives of the airline to provide an explanation for the cancellations of VZ2304 from Bangkok to Phuket, VZ2305 from Phuket to Bangkok and VA309 from Phuket to Bangkok.
According to Thai VietJet, flight VZ2304 was cancelled because of accumulated delays in ground services at Suvarnabhumi airport, making it impossible for the flight to leave the airport before the maintenance closure of the runway in Phuket at 11.30pm.
The cancellation of the flight to Phuket automatically caused the return flight VZ2305 to be cancelled. After the cancellation of the flight in Phuket, passengers were to be transferred to flight VZ309. During the transfer process, however, an error occurred in the seating arrangement, resulting in there being more passengers than the seats available.
The plane was forced to return to the gate for a second passenger check, causing further delays lasting beyond the time for the closure of the runway for maintenance. The flight was, therefore, cancelled.
Thai VietJet Air claims that it took good care of the stranded passengers by providing them with food and accommodation. The company also agreed to refund passengers who decided to cancel their flights with the airline and to issue new tickets for passengers who wanted to fly the following day.
As the error in seating arrangements concerns security, the CAAT said it is necessary to call the airline’s representatives in for a detailed explanation.