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Prime Minister Takes Economy-friendly Flight to UNGA: Frugal Move or Hidden Truth?

Destined for the 78th rotation of the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA), a weeklong event housed at the very heart of international diplomacy – the UN headquarters, the Prime Minister is poised from the 18th to the 24th of September. His participation is bookmarked to open at the Leaders’ Dialogue 6, an influential forum centered on “Mobilising Finance and investments and the enactment of methods for the achievement of Sustainable Development Goals”.

In the earlier hours of Monday, the Prime Minister, Srettha, journeyed towards this significant episode of world affairs aboard TG 8832, a chartered flight emanating from the serene grounds of Suvarnabhumi Airport. Interestingly, the vessel took a strategic pause for much-needed fuel at Haneda Airport in Japan and then continued its trajectory towards the city known for its towering skyscrapers and vibrant life – New York.

Flying alongside the prime minister were Foreign Minister Panpree Pahitanukorn and various highly-esteemed government officials. Much contrary to the circulating rumors of their extravagant first-class voyage, they chose to nestle comfortably in the aircraft’s business class. Srettha made it a point to add, “I shared the business-class setting with my team, ensuring unity and cost-effectiveness, contrary to rumors of a first-class escapade”.

The dedicated leader suggested that their chosen flying route on Thai Airways International was a wallet-friendly alternative to chartering a jet from the Royal Thai Air Force (RTAF), thereby promoting budgetary transparency. Srettha described the flight as a pleasant one, with ample room for stretching his legs to their limit, considering his towering height. Passengers could observe the Prime Minister engrossed in the UNGA 78 agenda during the flight.

Possessing a grounded perspective, Srettha explained: “There’s a ludicruous assumption that the prime minister should always choose the top-tier option. I vehemently defer, prioritizing maximum budget utilization instead.” Rearranging the puzzle pieces into the same frame, the Prime Minister’s Secretariat confirmed the economic benefits of choosing Thai Airways International for their trip, adding that the RTAF aircraft was in a phase of routine maintenance.

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