22 March 2012
After handing over the title of Chief Executive Officer (CEO) to his daughter, Manasnan, Mr. Udom Tantiprasongchai, Orient Thai Airlines’ Chairman of Advisory Board is still active in many of the airlines’ executive decisions, especially when the airlines is now temporarily operating from Suvannabhumi Airport and facing with full competitions.
Operating from the much more crowded Suvannabhumi Airport means we cannot always maintain our punctuality, and that prompted us to reschedule our flights to avoid the problems and achieve the best possible on-time performance, explained Mr. Udom.
During the first and second quarters of 2011, our average seat load was at 75% which was quite satisfactory since the second quarter was usually a low season, but we were lucky that during that time domestic flights picked up drastically. The third quarter, however, was hit by the uncertain sentiments occurring during the general elections, causing our seat load to plummet about 70% off the target. The last quarter, as we all knew, suffered from the flooding, causing us to move our operations from Don Muang to Suvannabhumi where the competition was higher plus our customers are not familiar with the new airport. However, the cabin load back to normal and we expect our flights to Chiang Mai and Chiang Rai, the two major tourist destinations, to pick up all though the traveling seasons.
Mr. Udom reveals to Take Off about the company’s strategic plans in operating from Suvannabhumi that Our main policy is always about maximum passenger safety and guaranteed low price without any hidden costs to passengers such as the check-in or seat selection fees. Our on-board and ground services are also always friendly and honest. We provide complimentary drinks and snacks to all our flyers who each enjoys a 20-kg load allowance along with the ticket price. We hope these services will help us maintain our customer base even at Suvannabhumi Airport.
For the year 2012, Mr. Udom expects to see a strong growth in domestic flights thanks to the more-demand-than-supply flights. However, there will be even fiercer competitions, especially in terms of pricing which can cause some airlines financial difficulties which always affect their safety. “We will emphasize on our overall values and will not participate in the price wars. We plan to increase international flights, especially out of key Chinese destinations. We have started charter flights from those cities since middle of last year and we now operate about 100 chartered flights every month. We will also beef up our on-line reservation system so that our clients can enjoy the facilities and flyers bonuses that we plan to increase for more customers redemptions.”
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