Page last updated at 12:11 GMT, Wednesday, 6 January 2010

Thai Airways executive quits in excess baggage scandal

Thai Airways plane
Thai Airways is currently undergoing restructuring

The executive chairman of Thai Airways has resigned over allegations that he exploited his position to evade at least $5,000 in excess baggage charges.

The executive, Wallop Bhukkanasut, stepped down after weeks of coverage of the case in the Thai media.

Reports said Mr Wallop and his wife got special treatment when they landed in Bangkok on a flight from Tokyo.

Some 30 cases belonging to them were apparently sent to the airport's lost property office, bypassing customs.

The resignation was announced by the airline's chairman, Ampon Kittiampon, who said Mr Wallop was leaving "to take responsibility for the excess baggage case".

According to Thai media reports, Mr Wallop, his wife and a friend had flown on first-class tickets which would have entitled them to a baggage allowance of 150kg.

However, their cases actually weighed 398kg.

The media said Mr Wallop claimed he was carrying fruit in the luggage, given to him by a friend based in Japan and intended for a temple in Bangkok.

The airline has launched an investigation into the incident, which happened in November. It is due to report its findings on 15 January.

Thai Airways is currently overhauling its management and business operations after reporting a loss of 21.3bn baht ($645m) in 2008.

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