Thai Airways International chairman Ampon Kitti-ampon has defended the transparency of a proposal to establish Thai Smile Airways Co as a subsidiary of THAI.
The move hit a snag after the Transport Ministry last week asked for more details on the new airline's investment plan and its business direction.
The national flag carrier planned to seek cabinet approval within one month to set up Thai Smile Airways as its subsidiary, but the ministry has sent back its plan and ordered it to give further details.
Chokchai Panyayong, THAI senior executive vice-president for strategy and business development, proposed the plan with the backing of Mr Ampon, a ministry source said.
"The proposal lacks details on the new airline's business analysis and its future competitiveness," the source said.
"On top of this, aside from Mr Ampon, Mr Chokchai is also named a company executive."
Mr Ampon defended the proposal, saying the creation of Thai Smile Airways is part of the national flag carrier's business strategy and had been under consideration since December last year.
He denied THAI had rushed the proposal, which has been approved by the company's board.
He said he is ready to explain the matter to the ministry and THAI executives would submit further details.
He shrugged off criticism that he has been pushing for the proposal as he wants to be the chairman of the new airline's board.
He said it would not be strange that he would serve in that position.
Currently, the THAI chairman supervises all agencies under the airline.
Somsak Manop, secretary-general of THAI's union, said labour leaders would meet on May 8 to discuss the airline's proposal. The union would keep a close watch on the issue, he said.
THAI president Sorajak Kasemsuvan said the airline would study further details of its proposal before resubmitting it to the ministry.
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- Writer: Amornrat Mahitthirook