Is it a bird? Is it a plane? Confusion in Thailand over Air Asia collision

In Thailand the word for bird is 'nok,' sparking social media confusion over whether an aircraft had collided with a plane from budget carrier Nok Air.
In Thailand the word for bird is 'nok,' sparking social media confusion over whether an aircraft had collided with a plane from budget carrier Nok Air. Photo: AP

Fliers in Thailand - where the word for bird is "nok" - thought Air Asia bird strike was in fact a collision with a Nok Air plane.

A collision between a Thai Air Asia aircraft and a bird sparked confusion today, with social media users initially believing the plane had struck another aircraft, operated by Nok Air.

The mix-up stemmed from the fact that "nok" is the Thai word for bird.

Within hours of the incident, Nok Air issued a statement on Twitter to explain that none of its fleet had been involved.

"We would like to clarify that Nok Air did not clip another aircraft today," it said. "The other aircraft suffered a bird (real ones) strike."

The aircraft, an Airbus A320-200, which was carrying 151 passengers from Bangkok to the southern city of Nakhon Si Thammarat, landed safely, although the impact left "a scratch" on the edge of the left wing, Thai AirAsia – a subsidiary of Malaysian airline AirAsia - said in a statement.

Nok Air, founded in 2004, is the budget arm of Thai Airways. It is not the only Asian airline with an amusing and confusing name - All Nippon Airways' low-cost brand was renamed Vanilla Air last year, its chiefs apparently unaware of the bland and plain associations with the slang usage of "vanilla" in the West.

The Telegraph, London

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