He explained that normally there are ten pilots for each aircraft. In practice, the pilots are divided into three groups: the first group is pilots on duty; the second group is pilots on standby and the third is at rest.
Mr Sanong explained that pilots want to fly more frequently because that means they will earn more but they cannot do just that because they have to abide by internationally-recognised rule that restrict the flying time of each pilot at no more than 34 hours a week or 110 hours for four working weeks each month or 1,000 hours within a year.
However, he said that pilots could refuse to fly all the time if they feel that they are unfit to fly.
He pointed out that some airlines which have less than ten pilots for each aircraft might face difficulty if one pilot suddenly reports sick and cannot fly. The best way to deal with this problem, he said, is to have adequate pilots to match the number of planes.
As for the problem of “brain drain”, Mr Sanong said that the problem has eased somewhat as the pilots’ pay has increased to 60 percent of the pay of pilots in the Middle East from 50 percent in the past.
Pilots tend to shift from one domestic airline to another instead of working abroad because they prefer to stay at home close to their families although the pay is relatively smaller.