11 April 2005

Customers build brands not advertising

Two Phuket airlines planes grounded – after major faults were discovered by safety inspectors.

Following a number of safety scares in the last week, the Department for Transport ordered emergency inspections of the carrier’s aircraft and, according to The Times, found that the collision avoidance system on one jumbo jet was broken, while another did not have operational evacuation safety lights.

The newspaper reports that thousands of people are booked to travel with the airline in the near future however Phuket Air will struggle to fly them all with its small fleet of ageing craft.

With the attitude to safety of crews and management still questionable, a Department for Transport spokesperson reportedly confirmed that the carrier had allowed one plane to take off last Friday, even though it was aware that the collision avoidance system was not working.

Marie Prince, UK spokeswoman for the carrier, told one UK newspaper that she has been unable to gather any information from the airline's UK management.

She is quoted as saying: “I have no idea what it going on because they are not returning my calls. I haven’t had any information since 3pm yesterday, yet I have had 85 calls from journalists.”

Just to recap, this chronic example of poor attention to operational branding began last week in the UAE as a Phuket Air 747 was forced to abort a take off after passengers practically mutineed after one saw fuel leaking from a fuel tank onto an engine as the plane took off.

Phuket Air has been providing cheap package flights between Europe and Thailand. Despite the visually appealing advertising campaigns and other communications, we believe that this is the end of the carriers international routes.


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