x Abu Dhabi, UAE Friday 21 July 2017

Cathay Pacific to investigate aircrew's 'coffee threat' to Thaksin's daughter

Carrier investigates reports that a flight attendant threatened to throw coffee at the daughter of the ousted Thai premier, Thaksin Shinawatra, after calling the politician an 'enemy'.

Ousted Thai prime minister Thaksin Shinawatra (second from right), who was deposed in a bloodless 2006 coup, poses for a family photo at daughter Paetongtarn’s graduation from a Bangkok university.
Ousted Thai prime minister Thaksin Shinawatra (second from right), who was deposed in a bloodless 2006 coup, poses for a family photo at daughter Paetongtarn’s graduation from a Bangkok university.

HONG KONG // Cathay Pacific was investigating reports that a flight attendant threatened to throw coffee at the daughter of the ousted Thai premier, Thaksin Shinawatra, after calling the politician an "enemy".

The attendant said she wanted to throw the drink at Paetongtarn Shinawatra, one of Thaksin's three children, after discovering her on board the flight from Bangkok to Hong Kong, according to the South China Morning Post newspaper.

"I immediately told my flight manager I could not work knowing the daughter of my enemy was on the plane," the attendant posted on Facebook.

"I called my personal adviser asking if it would be all right to throw coffee at Paetongtarn, but was told that this could breach Hong Kong's laws."

The long-running political crisis in Thailand recently led to the first major street protests against the government of the prime minister, Yingluck Shinawatra, Thaksin's younger sister, who is accused by her rivals of being a puppet for her fugitive brother.

Thaksin, ousted in a military coup in 2006, has been living in the UAE, but makes regular visits to Hong Kong, where his family reportedly owns properties.

The Hong Kong flag carrier said yesterday it was investigating "allegations of misconduct" following the November 25 flight.

Reports also said that the attendant had posted a photo of the manifest for the flight Ms Paetongtarn was on.

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

The airline said the attendant, which it declined to identify, is co-operating in the investigation and "is currently not operating", but would not confirm whether she had been suspended from duty.

Thai media quoted Ms Paetongtarn as saying on social media that she felt "uncomfortable" after the incident and that she had been travelling to Hong Kong for a business trip and to see her father.