PHUKET TOWN: The Gazette has learned that Thai Airways is to raise fares on all domestic routes by a whopping 13 percent with effect from April 1. This is despite the fact that the national inflation rate in 1998 was eight percent, and that it is projected to fall to around two percent this year. A source at the airline said there would be no upgrading of inflight service, or increase in the frequency of sandwiches (ham, cheese, tuna, etc) following the price hike. The price for a single ticket, Phuket-Bangkok (or, for that matter, Bangkok-Phuket), will be 2,270 baht, with the round trip fare at 4,540 baht. International fares will remain unchanged. While THAI faces fierce competition on international routes, its domestic operations enjoy a virtual monopoly. THAI has remained silent about the fare hike, but did issue a press release yesterday about its recent publication of a series of exciting new brochures.
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