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New Gen Airways denies trade ties with Arisman, wife

New Gen Airways, a new chartered carrier, denied yesterday that it was commercially connected with the politician couple Arisman and Rapipun Pongrueangrong in any form, including management, thereby ending a controversy over the red shirts' involvement as shareholders or nominees.

The airline also ruled out any future joint investment with the couple, saying it had enough capital to operate and expand its business by itself.

"There's no need to have new shareholders to help," executive chairman Pramook Chaiyawan said.

Six key executives from the airline held a press conference to clear doubts from the media. The news of the airline's launch went viral over New Year when Rapipun posted a picture of herself with the airline's aircraft on her Facebook page along with the message: "Let (me) introduce a new airline to you...but not officially launched...surely you can get (on) soon".

The airline acknowledged that its marketing team had welcomed the couple on their visit, but only as "potential customers" of its charter-flight service.

The firm has no plan to take legal action against them because there is no clear case to be made. Also, he has not estimated the damage to the airline's image. However, he did not know the motive behind the move.

Operator

New Gen Airways is operated by Sabaidee Airways Co, which was founded in 2012 by Captain Trakoolchai A-khanha and his group with Bt200 million in registered capital, comprising 200,000 common shares at par value of Bt1,000 per share.

The aim was to serve general passengers and cargo on both domestic and international routes.

Given fund constraints, New Generation Travel & Trade Co, a 20-year-old travel agency, and its partner agreed to buy a stake in the airline last July to ensure seat capacity for its travel service between Thailand and China.

Nittaya Khajornkietichai from New Generation Travel & Trade Co and Juthathib Wilard from Bangkok Aviation Co hold 49.9995 per cent each in the company. The remaining shares are held equally by two other investors.

Bangkok Aviation operates a commercial aircraft repair business.

The airline will run charter flights only for New Generation Travel & Trade for the time being, with its inaugural flight taking off next month from Don Mueang to cities in China. The carrier has one 168-seat Boeing 737-400 and a second one is arriving this month. Two Boeing 767-300ERs and one Boeing 737-300 will be delivered later this year, taking its fleet to five. All are leased from BCI Aircraft Leasing Inc.


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