Mr. Areepong Bhoocha-oom
The year 2015 marked the 55th anniversary for Thai Airways International, and became the year in which the Company’s overall operation saw some improvement compared to the year before, due to positive changes in various factors in the environment such as the more peaceful political situation and lower fuel prices. This improvement does not take into account impairment of assets and aircraft and expenses related to measures taken to reduce the number of employees as these are but inevitable costs of any corporate transformation program.
Besides the above, there have been other factors that have had an adverse effect on the aviation industry and tourism of Thailand.The Company, faced with the issues resulting from regulatory standards of safety of Civil Aviation of Thailand not meeting the standards set by international organizations, dedicated a huge amount of effort and resources to demonstrate to the civil aviation industry of other countries especially the EU, that its operations in terms of safety are indeed fully compliant with the required international standards. The Company, in its commitment to raising the safety standards to be among the highest in the industry, carried out the Safety Beyond Compliance program starting in May, and on December 15, 2015, Thai Airways International was licensed to fly in the European airspace as a Third Country Operator indefinitely by the European Aviation Safety Agency of the EU (EASA).
In light of the decline in the number of tourists to Thailand following the political condition in the recent years, Thai Airways has joined effort with Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) to conduct co-marketing programs. The Company has also launched the new website social.thaiairways.com to compliment the main website, www.thaiairways.com, in order to better serve the demand of the customers, providing a source of useful and up-to-date travel information on over 70 routes around the world, and an online forum where travel experiences can be shared.
Amidst the environmental factors that presented both positive and negative impacts on the Company, 2015 was also a year of a major corporate reform. The Company began implementing the business transformation plan that required all functions to streamline work processes to increase efficiency, and improve the expense management system. As revenue earning became a priority of the Transformation Plan, the commercial units had an important role in defining sales strategy and improving ticket pricing system to increase competitiveness. By mid 2016, the Company will have put in place a comprehensive information and technology system that will rival that of the leading competitors as well as greatly improve the way we serve our customers.
In 2016, the second year into the corporate reform program, THAI aims to build its competitive strength by driving plans in the four main areas which are, proactive revenue seeking, effective cost reduction, capability enhancement, and service excellence provision, in order to build competitiveness in the global arena. New development work in other areas includes aircraft maintenance by the engineering division, airline customer service by the Business Units along with joint venture projects with other companies, taking full advantage our own potential to effectively create revenue. There will also be an integration between THAI and THAI Smile in developing a route network that is complete with quality and modern services perfect for the lifestyle of the new generation of travelers.
Finally, the Board of Directors and the management team are confident that the Company’s transformation plan has led to a better operational performance. With the dedication of all the employees, both on the ground and in the air, the Company has continuously been awarded a top-ten position in the world’s airlines ranking, demonstrating our employees’ capabilities and service mindedness. We are all fully committed to continuing with the efforts to achieve the goals of the Transformation Plan and to eventually bring Thai Airways International back to its status of Thailand’s national pride.