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Orient Thai Airlines Co., Ltd. is an airline based in Bangkokmarker, Thailandmarker. It operates charter and scheduled services in Southeast Asia. Its main base is Suvarnabhumi Airportmarker, Bangkok. The airline has been a subject of several safety investigations by the United States National Transportation Safety Board and Department of Civil Aviation of Thailandafter the crash of One-Two-GO Airlines Flight 269, operated by the low-cost domestic arm of the airline. Orient Thai has been accused of numerous safety violations.

On July 21, 2008 the Thai DCA announced that Orient Thai subsidiary One-Two-GO Airlines was to suspend operations for 90 days, starting July 22, 2008. Orient Thai Airlines was also warned it must change its flight schedules to allow its pilots enough rest time, as required by aviation safety regulations. The low-cost subsidiary One-Two-Go was grounded for 56 days for the crash that killed 90 people and for fraudulent check rides.

Wholly owned and operated by Orient Thai, on April 2009 subsidiary airline One-Two-Go was banned from flight in European Union nations due to safety concerns.


The airline was formerly known as Cambodia International Airlines or CIA. The Cambodian government told CIA to leave Cambodia. Udom acquired two B727-200 aircraft and operated them under the name Orient Express Air. This took place circa November, 1995. The B727 were operated until he acquired ex-Delta L1011 Tri-Stars after which he phased out the B727s. Orient Thai ceased scheduled operations on 9 January 1998, but continues to operate charter services on behalf of Kampuchea Airlines. Scheduled operations have since been restarted. It is wholly owned by private Thai shareholders and has 820 employees (at March 2007). Orient Thai wholly owns One-Two-GO Airlines and has a 49% stake in Kampuchea Airlines.

Orient Thai Airlines was Asia’s first international charter operator. Along with its subsidiary, Kampuchea Airlines , it provided services to other airlines including Finnair, Lufthansamarker, LTU International and Merpati. It transported refugees around the world for the UN's International Organization for Migration (IOM), including returning people to Kosovomarker from Australia and helping Timorese return to East Timormarker in 1999 after it won its independence from Indonesiamarker. It became a designated UN carrier, transporting troops for peacekeeping operations worldwide. Orient Thai Airlines wasn’t just helping refugees get home or troops undertake their missions, its aircraft were also busy flying Muslim Hajj pilgrims to Saudi Arabiamarker for various clients, including Air India and the Saudi royal family.

The airline's reputation has been tarnished by continuous passenger complaints and numerous supposed breaches in safety. Korean and Japanese authorities have repeatedly stated that Orient Thai had safety issues. The South Korean Ministry of Construction and Transport stated that Orient Thai and two other low-cost Thai carriers had frequent delays and safety deficiencies. In Hong Kong the airline has been the subject of repeated complaints to the Hong Kongmarker Consumer Council for continuous delays, poor hygiene and service since the airline has no staff to handle complaints in Hong Kong. Passengers have related such experiences as lengthy delays, poor or non-existent service, lack of air conditioning and leaking excrement in the lavatories. They stated that upon complaining, ground staff were evasive and complaints submitted through emails or faxes were continuously ignored.

In 2004 an Orient Thai jet, instructed to fly over Tokyo Baymarker for final approach into Tokyo International Airportmarker in Ōta, Tokyo, instead flew at an altitude of 540 meters over Tokyo Stationmarker in Chiyoda and the Nihonbashimarker district in Chūō and passed within 200 meters of the Tokyo Towermarker in Minato. [54732].

On Sunday 16 September 2007, One-Two-GO Airlines Flight 269, operated by the low-cost, domestic arm of Orient Thai Airlines, crashed while attempting to land in heavy rain at Phuket airport, killing 90 people. NTSB and Thai Department of Civil Aviation began investigations into the accident and the safety. Numerous former Orient-Thai pilots attest to the poor safety standards of the airline. In February 2008, the Thai DCA claimed the NTSB couldn't find a cause for the crash. The NTSB disputes this claim and continues to provide support to Thai investigators.

Credible claims of dangerous and illegal actions by Orient Thai chairman Udom Tantiprasongchai and cronyism at the Thai DCA have led families of the crash victims to press for an independent investigation into the cause of the crash and the actions of Mr. Tantiprasongchai. The strongest critics amongst the bereaved believe Mr Tantiprasongchai is in part responsible for the accident due to the corporate culture which exists in the company.


As of July 2009, Orient Thai Airlines operates scheduled passenger flights to the following destinations


The Orient Thai Airlines fleet includes the following aircraft

Operated by Orient Thai Airlines

Operated for One-Two-GO Airlines

In December 2007, Orient Thai's chairman stated that the airline would order 12 Boeing 737-900s and 8 Boeing 787-9s in April 2008. As of April 2009, no such order has been recorded by Boeing.

This airline is in negotiations with Japan Airlines to purchase several used B747s and MD-80s aircraft for expansion.


  1. Thai DCA investigating crash in Phuket
  2. Bangkok Post: Top Stories
  3. "[1]." EU Bans Thai, Ukraine, Kazakhstan, Benin Airlines From EU.
  4. Bangkok's Independent Newspaper

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