The demotion takes effect immediately and Apinan has been ordered to focus on nonmanagement issues. Norahat Phloiyai is appointed as copresident, who will oversee all management issues.
Meanwhile, Chamsri Sukchotrat, chief of the company's labour union, expressed concern that politicians are resuming their intervention into the airline's affairs, similar to what happened six years ago. This would lead to management problems, she said.
There have been rumours for some time that Apinan would be dismissed, but the dismissal came after Transport Minister Santi Prompat's suggestion last week on a potential change to the method under which the firm purchases aircraft.