Passengers on a flight with Thailand's budget airline, Nok Air, were lucky this morning when the plane they were flying on from Chiang Mai to Udon Thani skidded off the runway on landing and came to a stop on grass. Passengers were quickly evacuated as soon as the plane came to a standstill, with authorities saying all 25 passengers and three crew members were "safe".
As of yet, there has been no announcement as to the cause of the Nok Air accident except for Thai TV news channels reporting the airline initially saying there was a "glitch" with an engine. This, however, is likely to change as an investigation into the incident takes place.
For anyone planning a flight with Nok Air, Thailand's most popular domestic budget airline, it should be noted the Chiang Mai to Udon Thani flight was technically not a Nok Air flight nor was it a regularly scheduled flight. Instead it was a chartered flight that was flown by a airline called Nok Mini, which is owned by Siam General Aviation Company Limited.
Nok Air, in fact, has a good reputation in Thailand and a very good safety record to go along with it. The budget airline has been in operation since early 2004 and flies thousands of flights throughout Thailand every month, with nothing more than minor incidents ever occurring.
'Nok' is the Thai word for 'bird', hence the airline's distinctive planes painted to look like an enormous pink and yellow bird.