PM's daughter 'paid for her own airfare'

PM's daughter 'paid for her own airfare'

Prime Minister Srettha Thavisin's daughter paid her own fare to travel on the same government-charter flight as the premier to New York, according to government spokesman Chai Wacharonke.

Ms Chananya Thavisin covered the full fare herself to be on the Thai Airways International charter flight which took her father on an official trip to attend the 78th Session of the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA78) in New York from Sept 18-24.

The spokesman was responding to recent calls by political activist, Somchai Srisutthiyakorn, for opposition lawmakers and the House Committee on Anti-corruption and Misconduct to look into why the chartered flight was exorbitantly priced.

The service, which offered an all-round-trip from Suvarnabhumi Airport to New York with a stopover in Tokyo, cost 30 million baht.

Natreeya Thaweewong, the PM's deputy secretary who took care of the travel arrangements, said e-bidding was held to seek a reasonable price, adding the Royal Thai Air Force (RTAF) wanted 32 million baht to put on a charter flight service, while Thai Airways asked for 25 million.

But the amount Thai Airways wanted rose to 30 million baht due to a hike in fuel prices.

In this regard, the price the RTAF set might have risen to 40 million baht, Ms Natreeya said.

Of the cost, 4.84 million baht was paid for aircraft-related expenses, 16.8 million baht was for fuel costs, 1.47 million baht was for food and drink, almost 3.1 million baht was for ground services and 3.8 million baht was operational costs.

Ms Natreeya said around 50 other passengers who accompanied the premier on the aircraft, such as his daughter, paid for their own tickets and accommodation.

On Wednesday, Mr Chai discounted Mr Somchai's claim that Ms Chananya could not have paid her own ticket as the charter arrangement did not allow for an individual's airfare to be compartmentalised.

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