Nok Air has offered compensation to all 164 passengers of a flight that skidded off the runway after landing amid heavy rain at Chiang Rai airport on Saturday, saying it will put more stringent safety protocols in place in accordance with the Civil Aviation Authority of Thailand (CAAT).
Nok Air chief executive Wutthiphum Jurangkool said 164 passengers aboard flight DD108 bound for Mae Fah Luang Chiang Rai International Airport on Saturday night and another 164 passengers who were booked to take flight DD109 from Chiang Rai to Bangkok on the same day would receive compensation due to the incident involving the airline's Boeing 737-800.
He said those aboard DD108 would be compensated with an additional round-trip ticket to any destination in Thailand within one year, while the airfare the passengers paid for the flight involved in the incident could be kept as credit for their next trip. It can be used on another route without any additional fee or the passenger can request a cash refund for the full amount.
For the passengers who were due to take flight DD109, the airline has offered 1,200 baht in compensation in addition to the privilege of keeping the airfare paid as credit. The passengers are also able to opt for another route without any additional fee or they can request a cash refund.
On the night of July 30, 84 of 164 passengers scheduled to take flight DD109 were transferred to hotels in Chiang Rai as a part of the reparations arranged for passengers impacted by the situation.
"We are deeply sorry about the incident with DD108 and passengers directly and indirectly affected by the accident. This situation might impact passengers' confidence to some extent. We have to tighten our safety and security protocols for operations and cabin crews further," said Mr Wutthiphum.
However, the cause of the incident is being investigated by CAAT at present.
Mr Wutthiphum said the aircraft involved in the incident is 7 years old, while the pilot in command of the aircraft has more than 29 years of professional experience.
He said after the aircraft skidded at 9.06pm, there was a clear announcement asking the cabin crew to prepare for an evacuation at 9.09pm.
At 9.18pm, after holding discussions with airport staff and being assured that all electrical system had been cut without any leaks that could ignite a flame, the pilot decided to disembark passengers requiring special assistance at 9.21pm.
He insisted that the first batch of passengers were able to evacuate 20-30 minutes after the incident.
However, due to limited carrying capacity of transport from where the accident took place to the terminal, which had only one van and one ambulance able to carry 15-17 passengers per trip over a distance of almost 1 kilometre, the last passenger disembarked at 10pm.