About 400 Thais were left stranded at South Korea's main airport yesterday after their aircraft was refused the right to take off for Bangkok.
Thai-owned low-cost airline PC Air's flight back to Bangkok was cancelled after a financial wrangle erupted between the airline and its Korean sales agent.
Its sole aircraft, an Airbus 310-222 with 200 seats, was refused the right to take off from Incheon International Airport pending settlement of aircraft service fees including refuelling costs.
PC Air, which is privately owned, bills itself as the world's first carrier to employ members of the third gender as cabin attendants.
Peter Chan, a Thai national who founded the airline which took to the skies in December last year, said last night the problems are related to 20 million baht in ticket sales to Skyjet, its sales agent, which was supposed to settle various payments for the airline including ground-handling charges.
Some of the stranded Thai passengers, mostly part of tour groups to South Korea, complained to Thai TV programmes last night that the airline had yet to spell out how they would be sent back to Bangkok.
Mr Chan, the airline's president, said he was working on several options to get the stranded passengers back to Bangkok including chartering a special flight and finding seats on other airlines.
He said PC Air was working with the Thai embassy in Seoul to find accommodation for the passengers, who were expelled from Incheon airport's airside area for departing passengers, because their flight had been aborted for more than 24 hours.
A senior Bangkok-based executive of T'way Airlines, one of South Korea's low-cost carriers plying the Bangkok-Incheon route, said last night about 50 stranded Thai passengers were able to get seats on its flight out of Incheon.
PC Air operates flights from Bangkok to Incheon and Hong Kong, offering heavily discounted fares.
About the author
- Writer: Boonsong Kositchotethana
Position: Deputy Editor Business