CARRIERS FACE GROUNDING
About five Thai-registered airlines could be grounded if they do not get a new Air Operator Certificate by July 1. However, the impact is expected to be minimal since these airlines are mainly operators of chartered flights and domestic aviation services. Thailand has
Thailand has 23 carriers registered locally with international air services subject to the regulations of the International Civil Aviation Organisation, which has issued a red flag over the safety of Thai-registered airlines.
Chula Sukmanop, head of the Civil Aviation Authority of Thailand, said all locally-registered airlines need AOC recertification for international services and at least 10 airlines need AOC recertification for the lifting of the red flag against Thailand in July.
BETAGRO OPENS PET FOOD PLANT
Betagro Group has opened a Bt1.2-billion plant in Lop Buri as part of its manufacturing expansion for dog and cat food.
The new plant, the group’s first integrated pet-food production line, is under Pet Focus Co.
Demand for dry, ready-to-eat pet food is estimated at 15,000 tonnes per month, the company said. About 25,000 tonnes is for export.
The market for food for cats and dogs is valued at Bt25 billion, with the group ranking among the top five producers and distributors of pet food in the country.
Last year, the group’s sales grew 20 per cent faster than expected.
For this year, it projects sales to surge by 60 per cent, compared with the predicted industry average of 10-15 per cent.
The Lop Buri plant on a 46 rai (7.36 hectares) of land can produce 11,200 tonnes per month.
The first phase starts at 4,000 tonnes per month, comprising dry pet-food items and snacks for dogs and cats.
These are for domestic distribution channels such as pet shops, veterinary clinics, modern trade and pet farms.
The factory also serves as an original equipment manufacturer and ships to Europe, Japan, Asean and other markets.
AUTO PRODUCTION DOWN 7.2%
February’s auto production fell 7.2 per cent year on year to 154,496 units because of a 16.9-per-cent year-on-year drop in production for export.
However, domestic car sales climbed 19.9 per cent to 68,435, said Surapong Paisitpattanapong, spokesman for the Federation of Thai Industry’s Automotive Industry Club.
Passenger-car sales surged 59.8 per cent year on year after carmakers launched new models in January.