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Cathay Pacific fires flight attendant in Paetongtarn case

File photo

File photo

The flight attendant who allegedly threatened to pour a hot drink on former prime minister Thaksin Shinawatra's daughter Paetongtarn Shinawatra during a recent flight has been removed by her employer Cathay Pacific.

The cabin crew concerned is no longer an employee of the company," Cathay Pacific said in a statement released yesterday.

The international flag carrier of Hong Kong said that after a "thorough investigation", it found that the cabin crew member involved had failed to adhere to its privacy policy of posting certain information on a social media site about any passenger without authority.

The airline's move came amid mounting pressure from politicians in the ruling Pheu Thai Party and its supporters. A group of 50 Thaksin supporters yesterday gathered outside the Cathay Pacific office on Phloenchit Road demanding the stewardess be punished.

Cathay Pacific Airways Bangkok branch manager Leslie Lu met the group and distributed the airline's statement of apology.

Airline's regret

"Cathay Pacific regrets this unfortunate incident and wishes to assure all our customers that their privacy and a strict adherence to all privacy regulations is extremely important to us."

The stewardess had posted the Facebook message saying she was pleased she had not succumbed to her anger and did not translate her thoughts into action. The issue has now gone viral.

In her message posted on Instagram, Paetongtarn jokingly asked "Is it coffee or tea?" supposedly to the air stewardess who thought of throwing the drink at her. Paetongtarn also offered an apology to the stewardess if she had done anything to make her so angry.

Deputy Interior Minister Pracha Prasobdee said yesterday that he wanted criminal action taken against the Cathay Pacific stewardess, claiming she intended to intimidate and assault a client and had violated the privacy of the airline's customer by publicly revealing the client's information.

The deputy minister tweeted that he would go today to the airline to make his point.

The stewardess, who is reported to be a yellow-shirt supporter, posted on her Facebook page a photo of the manifest, the list of passengers showing Paetongtarn's name on a Cathay flight bound for Hong Kong on November 25.

Pracha claimed the stewardess's action had an element that constituted a crime since she had the intention and had prepared for the incident, even though a crime was not successfully executed. He even said that the Shinawatra family members could risk being poisoned, so the airline executives must get rid of such staff.

Pracha's move to press the airline to take criminal action against the stewardess is expected to provoke a response from the yellow shirts.


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