Thai Airways has officially revealed a new livery in honour of the King of Thailand’s coronation year.
The King, Vajiralongkorn, who succeeded his deeply revered father, Bhumibol (also known as King Rama IX) who died three years ago, is considered technically, to be a living god. Monarchs are accorded deep respect in Thailand and Thai’s know little or nothing about any human failings of their monarchs.
The new King is more than a little controversial, having not wanted to follow his father and with a playboy reputation. He’s also a little unconventional- not a quality desired in Thai Monarch’s. His eccentricities were on full display in recent months when he declared his horse to be a field Marshall in the Thai Army.
However all of this is forbidden news in Thailand where criticism of the King is a serious crime and results in prison sentences.
The country is effectively under military rule at present and great efforts to instil patriotic pro-monarchy feelings are routine.
The new Thai Airways Royal Barge livery may seem innocuous enough, but it has huge significance in Thailand. The coronation took place on May 4th.
Thai received permission to paint the Suphannahong Royal Barge aircraft livery on its Boeing 777-300 aircraft (HS-TKF), royally bestowed the name “Lahan Sai.” The Royal Coronation Emblem will appear on Thai’s aircraft throughout the Coronation Year.
Thee Suphannahong Royal Barge, originally called “Si Suphannahong” or “Chai Suphannahong Royal Barge,” has been the King’s royal barge since the Ayutthaya era. The current Suphannahong Royal Barge was constructed by the royal command of King Rama V and was completed in the reign of King Rama VI.
At the front or bow of the barge is a golden swan figurehead, the body or hull is the body of the swan etched in wood and decorated with gold leaf, mirrors, tassels, and engraved glass. The exterior of the barge was painted black, while the interior was painted red, with a throne in the middle of the barge for the monarch. The Royal Barge was 46.15 meters long, 3.17 meters wide, and 15 tons in weight. Furthermore, this Royal Barge will be used in the Royal Procession for travel along the Chao Phraya River to Wat Arun Ratchavararam (Temple of Dawn) to present robes to Buddhist monks during this year’s annual Royal Kathin Ceremony in October 2019.
In 1999, THAI first painted the Suphannahong Royal Barge aircraft livery on its Boeing 747-400 aircraft royally bestowed the name “Haripunchai” on the auspicious occasion of the Sixth Cycle Birthday of King Rama IX. Therefore, the sacred ceremony is being held to bless the Suphannahong Royal Barge aircraft livery that is painted on Thai’s Boeing 777-300 aircraft that was royally bestowed the name “Lahan Sai,” which will appear on the aircraft from August 2019 to 31 December 2022.
This livery differs from the previous one, as there is a rowing team with oars raised symbolic of birds in flight. A sticker (decal) has been used in place of aircraft paint spray for a more realistic appearance.