ASEAN KEY DESTINATIONS
Tiger Airways will take off
A memorandum of understanding to set up TTA, 51 percent owned by THAI and 49 percent by Tiger, was signed on Aug 1.
The fact that the prime minister and the Finance Ministry, the major shareholder in THAI at 51 percent, expressed support for the deal, as well as the upward trend in THAI's share price after the agreement was announced, showed TTA's formation was a move in the right direction, Kittiampon said.
Transport Minister Sohpon Zarum and former senior THAI executives are the major critics. THAI executive vice-president Pandit Chanapai briefed Transport Ministry officials on the TTA deal yesterday. The ministry had summoned management to explain the deal as its officials said that a recent letter from THAI had failed to clarify some issues of concern.
One of the most critical issues is offering domestic air traffic rights to a foreign carrier through the joint venture.
Critics have pointed out that most countries around the world, including the US, zealously reserve their domestic air traffic rights for locally owned carriers.
The most contentious element to the deal may be the involvement in Tiger Airways by Temasek, the Singaporean government's investment arm, and Singapore Airlines, THAI's archrival.
Temasek is known to most Thais because of fugitive former prime minister Thaksin Shinawatra's Shin Corp.'s 2006, 73-billion-baht asset sale to it in 2006.
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