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Old October 12th, 2009, 07:17 PM   #501
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Hard task for THAI boss

Bangkokpost Published: 10/10/2009 at 12:00 AM

Piyasvasti told to get airline into top five

The board of Thai Airways International is giving its incoming president a formidable challenge - to regain the airline's position as one of the world's top carriers through a bold transformation.

The tough assignment came after the technical hurdles that had delayed Piyasvasti Amranand's assumption of the post had been cleared, paving the way for him to take office on Oct 19.

The mission follows the board's decision to embrace an apparently more aggressive strategy of refocusing the airline to target premium and business-class passengers - a departure from its current industry positioning seen as appealing mostly to tourists.

Dr Piyasvasti, a former energy minister, has been tasked by the board with lifting THAI into the top five global airlines - at least in terms of service quality and safety - over the next five years, THAI chairman Ampon Kittiampon said yesterday.

THAI has plunged in the latest global passenger survey of airline quality standards, finishing last in the world's top 10 airlines in 2009, after taking fourth place last year in the Skytrax poll.

The action plan under the five-year strategy, which the new president is to put together, will be based on customer demand.

This approach will determine the network, inflight entertainment systems, the types of new aircraft, and the way THAI retrofits its jets.

Other issues such as aircraft carbon emissions and fuel efficiency will also be covered in the new strategy as THAI will strive to reduce its fleet's age from 12 years to five or six years, similar to those of its key competitors, said the chairman.

THAI has 88 aircraft, of which several, including Boeing 747-400s, have been in service for two decades.

Corporate restructuring will be high on the national carrier's agenda for the new president.

Two offshoots, a property fund company and a firm dealing with aircraft leasing, will be spun off to make THAI run more effectively.

As part of its revamped strategy, THAI will support a greater role for Nok Airlines, the budget carrier in which THAI has a 39% stake, in domestic routes where the flag carrier operates at a loss.

Dr Ampon said it was too early to say if Nok would be allowed to take over some international routes, especially regional ones, now operated by THAI.

The formidable task comes in exchange for the THAI board's acceptance of most of Dr Piyasvasti's conditions, including a paycheque of 900,000 baht a month, for taking on his mission without facing too much bureacracy.

For instance, the new president is empowered to endorse procurement and business contracts worth 500 million baht, 10 times more than the current 50-million-baht limit.

He can also change or appoint 40 vice-presidents, and have them report directly to him.

Dr Ampon, also secretary-general of the National Economic and Social Development Board, rejected suggestions that the board had bent too much to give Dr Piyasvasti excessive power.

"In good management practice, we need to trust the management," the THAI chairman said.
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Old October 13th, 2009, 03:16 AM   #502
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I flew with A333 TG: smooth as silk
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Old October 14th, 2009, 04:51 PM   #503
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Old October 19th, 2009, 10:17 AM   #504
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THAI operates Phuket-Hong Kong flights

By The Nation 18/10/2009

Thai Airways International on October 25 will start the service between Phuket and Hong Kong.

Pruet Boobphakam, executive vice president for commercial department, said the new service would support passenger's demand on this route, where there is high demand for travel in early 2010.

The airline expected to earn revenue for THAI in the new upcoming winter traffic program (October 2009 - March 2010), with 3 flights per week operating on Wednesdays, Fridays and Sundays, utilizing Airbus 330300 aircraft with seat capacity of 305 seats (42 on Royal Silk Class and 263 on Economy Class). The return flight routed Hong Kong - Phuket will also operate on Wednesdays, Fridays and Sundays.
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Old October 19th, 2009, 11:45 AM   #505
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Is there anymore clarity on the resumption of BKK-JNB flights, initially said to relaunch in December, but now I've hear rumours of only at the end of March 2010? Confirmed or just rumoured still?
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Old October 22nd, 2009, 10:01 PM   #506
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THAI operates Boeing 777-200 freighters

By The Nation 19/10/2009

Thai Airways International Public Company Limited recently signed Block Space Agreement to utilise two Boeing 777-200 long range freighter aircraft operated by Southern Air Inc.

Pruet Boobphakam, executive vice president for commercial and acting managing director of Cargo & Mail Commercial Department, said that the agreement marks THAI as the first operator in the region to offer this capability to its cargo customers, from the most advanced B777-200LR freighter in term of fuel efficiency and low carbon footprint freighter aircraft ever built with more than 100 tonnes carrying capacity.

THAI has acquired all of the capacity on the brandnew aircraft.

The two aircrafts will arrive in early 2010, which will be tentatively utilising on the route Bangkok to Europe at initial stage and will be expanded to others such as Australia and USA.
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Old October 25th, 2009, 10:43 AM   #507
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Thai Airways geared up for Asean visitors

By THE NATION Published on October 23, 2009

Thai Airways International (THAI) is providing ground-handling services for Asean leaders and dialogue partner leaders at Hua Hin airport, during the 15th Asean Summit from today until Sunday.

THAI is the official handling airline for the summit, said Lek Klinvibul, the airline's managing director for ground customer services.

"THAI is proud to provide services to the distinguished gathering of Asean leaders. THAI will also be providing similar services for other important events in Thailand.

"Handling services at Hua Hin include aircraft technical handling and support, ground handling services equipment; ramp services, baggage handling, meeting and assisting visitors on arrival and departure."

In conjunction with the summit, THAI has launched a "Visit Asean Airpass Fare" promotion, to boost tourism within Asean. The special airfare is valid from now until November 30. For reservations, contact THAI sales offices and agents nationwide. For more details, customers can telephone the call centre at 02-356-1111 or www.thaiair.com/Promotions/Special Fares Promotions/SF Promotion index.htm.

Thailand assumed the 18-month chairmanship of Asean in July last year. Thailand has summarised its priorities during that time with the three Rs: realising the commitments under the Asean charter; revitalising a people centred community; and reinforcing human development and security for all people of the region.
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Old October 27th, 2009, 07:53 AM   #508
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Boeing pitches 777 to THAI

* Published: 26/10/2009 at 12:00 AM
* Newspaper section: Business

The US planemaker Boeing will be strenuously promoting its B777 series as replacements for the ageing high-capacity jets Thai Airways International will be retiring in the next five years.

Boeing is positioning its 777 family as a highly efficient replacement for the 747 series.

Boeing believes the track record, updated technology, and improved efficiency and economy of one of its flagship planes will have strong appeal in the flag carrier's forthcoming major fleet modernisation plan.

On THAI's drawing board is a plan to acquire four to six wide-body long-haul aircraft and five to seven twin-aisle jets for medium-haul operations over the next five years, according to a THAI insider.

Over the long term, the national carrier will also be seeking to replace its old aircraft with new ones as part of a strategy to rejuvenate its fleet, whose average age is 11.6 years, in order to appeal to passengers and take advantage of better fuel efficiency.

New planes are meant to replace THAI's old jets such as B747-400s and Airbus's A300-600s that are approaching their end of service. These planes are less economically efficient and face future flying restrictions in some regions due to high carbon dioxide emissions.

Larry Loftis, vice-president for Boeing's 777 programme, sees the B777-300ER, the long-range variant of the twin-engine B777 series, as an ideal replacement for THAI's 18 B747-400s, some of which are 15 years old.

The sizes of the B747-400 and B777- 300ER are similar, their ranges are comparable, and the fuel efficiency from operating a twin-jet 777 versus the four-engine jumbo jet are reasons for THAI to consider it as a replacement, he said.

The 777 costs $257 million or more depending on options, and can carry up to 365 passengers 14,685 kilometres, such as Bangkok to New York, non-stop.

"We've seen, over the last few years, a number of operators replacing their old 747s with the triple seven," he said.

Chris Flint, director of sales for Boeing Commercial Airplanes in Thailand, said: "Replacing the 747-400s with 777-300ERs makes sense for European Union routes because of the unknown impacts of cap-and-trade emissions policies."

Boeing will also push its new version of the 747 jumbo jet expected to be ready for flight early next year.

"For large markets that might have capacity restrictions, we certainly would recommend replacing the 747-400 with the new 747-8," said Mr Flint. "It really comes down to the size of the market, the frequency of service, the airline business model, and the nature of the market."

Boeing believes its 777 bests European rival Airbus's A340-600, a similar four-engine jet, due to new improvements.

"We tried to take technologies that were evolving with our 787 and 747-8 and apply them to the 777 family as part of the refinement," said Anita Polt, regional director for product development at Boeing.

Among the improvements is a new wing design featuring raked winglets, more efficient engines that emit 5-13% less carbon dioxide while being quieter, and greater application of advanced materials such as alloys and composites.Boeing said sales performance of its B777 series over Airbus's A340 family bear these differences out.

Since the 777 programme was launched in October 1990 until July of this year, Boeing has received 1,116 orders by 56 operators including THAI. Airbus has only 558 orders, giving Boeing a 66% share.

There are 20 older B777 series aircraft operating in THAI's fleet. The flag carrier also has 10 older A340 series and 12 A330-300 jetliners operating, with eight more A330-300s slated for delivery between 2009 and 2010.

As airlines delay deliveries of new aircraft due to the industry downturn, Boeing executives believe they can meet an early delivery timeframe for 777s if THAI requires.

Boeing is shifting down its 777 production rate from seven a month to five in mid-2010. It also does not believe its much-delayed 787 Dreamliner will compete with the 777 but will function as a complement.

The US planemaker's initial focus is to roll out a small version of the 787 capable of carrying 210 to 250 passengers up to 15,200 km. It would be smaller than the 777.
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Old October 28th, 2009, 10:32 PM   #509
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THAI strikes cargo deal with US budget carrier

Bangkokpost Published: 19/10/2009 at 12:00 AM

Thai Airways International has made big strides in expanding its freight business by sealing a deal to utilise the cargo capacity available on two new Boeing 777 freighters run by a US low-cost cargo carrier.

The accord calls for THAI to acquire all the cargo space available on two B777-200 long-range freighters operated by Connecticut-based Southern Air Inc for two years starting in early 2010.

The national carrier has resorted to acquiring cargo capacity from third parties under the so-called aircraft block space agreement (BSA) as a quick means to increase its haulage capability at a time when air freight demand shows sign of emerging from the doldrums.

The method also helps THAI delay dealing with thorny questions about whether it should convert some of its ageing wide-body passenger jets such as Boeing B747-400s into cargo planes or if it should purchase brand new freighters instead.

The BSA is meant to be a quick fix to THAI's long-delayed plan to place a strong emphasis on cargo, a lucrative sector of the air transport business that the airline never fully tapped largely because of a lack of strategic policy and dedicated cargo planes.

The agreement also sends a message to the industry, particularly its current and potential customers, that THAI is committed to strengthening its cargo profile, THAI executives said yesterday.

Pruet Boobphakam, THAI executive vice-president for commerce, said THAI initially planned to haul cargo from Bangkok to Europe before expanding to Australia and the US later.

More specifically, the airline aims to largely carry bulk goods from China to the western world with cargo to Asia on the return flights, said THAI executives. In other words, the two freighters would enable THAI to serve companies requiring very large haulage capacity.

Each of the two advanced cargo planes can carry 104 tonnes of cargo with a volume of 650 cubic metres, slightly less than a B747-200 jumbo freighter with a payload of 105 tonnes and 710 cubic metres in volume.

The two will add about 400 tonnes of weekly cargo haulage to THAI's current capacity of 8,000 tonnes in its passenger planes' bellies each week.

The deal with SAI will make THAI the first operator in the region to provide cargo haulage on board the advanced B777-200LR freighters, which are 20-25% more fuel-efficient than the B747-200F and fly over longer distances while facing fewer carbon emission restrictions imposed in the West.
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Old October 30th, 2009, 10:04 PM   #510
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Thai Airays protests innocence

By THE NATION, Published on October 29, 2009

Thai Airways International yesterday protested its innocence regarding reported allegations from an Australian antitrust watchdog that it fixed air cargo prices.

"As the Thai national carrier, THAI has never broken any rule in any country," said Niruj Maneepun, vice president for legal and compliance.

The issue is now the responsibility of a law firm in Australia, he said.

The court hearing on the Australian authority's charges has been set for November 29.

THAI is currently undergoing a trial on a price-fixing charge in New Zealand.

It also faces a civil lawsuit in the US by a group of individual passengers, as well as a charge by the European Commission that the airline implemented various special surcharges in lieu of fuel, security and war-risk surcharges, in air cargo shipment charges.

It was reported from Sydney that the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission alleges THAI colluded with other international airlines between 2001 and 2006 to effectively peg the price of fuel and security surcharges.

"The ACCC alleges that the arrangements or understandings were reached in Singapore, Indonesia and Hong Kong - plus Thailand in the case of a security surcharge called a crisis surcharge - for surcharges applied to cargo originating in those countries," it said in a statement.

THAI is the 11th carrier to be pursued by the ACCC in federal court over the alleged cartel activity, which has so far resulted in airlines being ordered to pay 41 million Australian dollars (Bt1.3 billion) in penalties.

Last December, Australia's Qantas was ordered to pay $20 million in penalties after admitting it engaged in price-fixing linked to international cargo fuel surcharges.

A federal court in Sydney also fined British Airways $5 million after it admitted an illegal arrangement in the air freight market over the same period with German airline Lufthansa.

And in February this year the court ordered Air France, KLM, Martinair Holland and Cargolux International Airlines to pay penalties totalling $16 million.

The ACCC has also instituted proceedings against Singapore Airlines Cargo, Cathay Pacific Airways, Emirates and Garuda.

"The ACCC continues to investigate other airlines with the assistance of cooperating parties, and further actions are expected during the next few months," it said.
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Old November 4th, 2009, 06:47 PM   #511
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Old November 6th, 2009, 08:04 PM   #512
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THAI transfers routes to Nok Budget carrier to get domestic routes, jets

Bangkokpost Published: 5/11/2009 at 12:00 AM

After reconciling with Nok Airlines earlier this year, Thai Airways International (THAI) now seems ready to help its budget brand fly higher.

The 49-year-old flag carrier looks set to hand over several domestic routes, its six remaining 737-400 jets and other support to its six-year-old affiliate to enable it to fight back against no-frills airline Thai AirAsia.

THAI had been unhappy for some time with the budget airline's "autonomous" style in running its businesses, which sometimes conflicted with the approach of its mother carrier and did not produce the returns the flag carrier expected.

THAI's board and its newly appointed president Piyasvasti Amranand agree that Nok needs to play a greater role as the airline's "fighting brand" to protect the domestic market, which has been eroded by Thai AirAsia.

The national carrier wants Nok to take over several domestic routes that THAI cannot operate profitably under the full-service model, including flights from Bangkok to Phitsanulok, Khon Kaen, Ubon Ratchathani and Mae Hong Son. These routes are seen to be capable of making money if operated on a low-cost carrier business model.

In general, THAI wants to concentrate on overseas services, which constitute the core of its business and are more lucrative, although highly competitive. But THAI will retain some trunk local routes that are essential to transfer its international passengers to key destinations such as Phuket and Chiang Mai, said THAI executive board chairman Wallop Bhukkanasut.

Top executives of both airlines have been in talks about Nok playing a greater role and will spend the next few months finalising details.

But Dr Piyasvasti said Nok must show commitment if THAI is to to hand over assets to the budget carrier.

"Before the mother [THAI] passes on the heritage, the offspring [Nok] needs to behave itself and an agreement in detail needs to be worked out," he told the Bangkok Post.

"What if we pass on some routes to them and for some reasons they cannot or are unwilling to operate?"

Under the so-called "synergy" plan, THAI also wants greater control over Nok through increasing its shareholding, now at 39%.

"To have more control, we probably need to boost our stake to 49%, maybe by buying holdings from other existing shareholders," said the former energy minister.

Other shareholders in Nok are Krung Thai Bank (10%), Dhipaya Insurance Plc (10%), the Government Pension Fund (10%), CPB Equity Co (6%), Siam Commercial Bank (5%), Thailand Prosperity Fund by ING Funds Thailand (5%), King Power International Co (5%) and individual investors (10%).

Shareholding is one of the key issues in the THAI-Nok co-operation plan.

In a separate interview, Nok chief executive Patee Sarasin made it clear that the budget airline was not ready to simultaneously take on all the routes and aircraft that THAI would make available.

"We [Nok] would rather take it step by step, gradually work towards the role THAI may want to see us play," he told the Bangkok Post. He added that the airline did not want to repeat the mistakes arising from over-expansion that sank its balance sheet.

Nok posted a loss of 502 million baht last year due to spiking oil prices, global economic turbulence and over-expansion, which included the launch of international services to Vietnam and India.

However, Nok has apparently recovered relatively successfully through a dramatic rationalisation launched in the middle of last year in which the carrier shed nearly half its workforce of 1,000, halved its Boeing 737 jet fleet to three, terminated all overseas routes, slashed flights by half and cut salaries.

Nok has made a profit of 270 million baht so far this year and is on course to close 2009 with a profit of 300 million baht, said Mr Patee.

He said Nok might not be able to build a market to justify the significant capacity of the six B737-400s that THAI could transfer.

But Nok could be prepared to take three of the planes, probably one at a time starting from the first quarter of next year as it gets more routes from THAI, he said.

Nok currently operates five Boeing B737-400s, three of them leased from the flag carrier.

Mr Patee said Nok would prefer to expand cautiously and has no plan to resume overseas operations, which he described as not only costly but risky.

"We cannot be too ambitious nor have too much expectation. We know our constraints," he said.

One major hurdle that executives of both airlines recognise in Nok taking on THAI routes is how to transfer personnel at THAI's provincial operations to Nok without creating a labour dispute.

These THAI staff enjoy higher salaries and better benefits than Nok personnel. "That is the challenge we have tackle," said Dr Piyasvasti.
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Old November 9th, 2009, 09:10 PM   #513
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THAI may axe fuel surcharge

Bangkokpost Published: 5/11/2009 at 12:00 AM

Thai Airways International may revert to selling all-inclusive tickets by removing the fuel surcharge.

The flag carrier is weighing the pros and cons of lifting the fuel surcharge, largely to make its fare structure more transparent and less complicated in the eyes of passengers, said THAI executives.

Including the surcharge in the ticket price would likely mean the airline changes its fares more often in line with fuel price fluctuation. This creates a risk if fuel prices skyrocket like last year because the carrier, pursuant to industry practice, cannot change fares frequently.

Furthermore, removing the surcharge may not necessarily lower the total charge a passenger has to pay for flying THAI.

A senior executive said removing the fuel surcharge may only be adopted in some countries where the competitive environment dictates.

Discontinuing the surcharge deprives THAI of a mechanism that easily passes on cost burdens from oil price volatility to consumers. In addition, most consumers are used to the fuel surcharge concept and understand how it works.

Because it cannot decide, THAI has delayed the decision from Dec 1 until perhaps April. So far, few full-service airlines, including Lufthansa and Japan Airlines, have removed the surcharge.

Several low-cost carriers including AirAsia stopped the surcharge earlier this year, making their fares more transparent, while fuel prices eased allowing carriers to assume more risk from fluctuation.
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Old November 10th, 2009, 07:52 PM   #514
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THAI may fall short of revenue and profit targets

THE NATION 7/11/2009

Thai Airways International could miss its revenue target of Bt150 billion this year due to the fluctuation in oil prices and a low passenger yield, its president Piyasvasti Amranand said yesterday.

The national carrier may also fail to achieve this year's profit target of Bt7 billion, he said.

"The overall operation in the third quarter was positive, with a higher load factor. However, we are still facing a crisis," Piyasvasti said at a press conference.

THAI in the first half of the year registered Bt75.9 billion in revenue and Bt2.47 billion in net profit. It has not yet released third-quarter financial results.

The company earlier lowered its revenue target from Bt180 billion to Bt150 billion, due to political instability and the global economic crisis. Last year's revenue was Bt202.6 billion.

Passenger yield in the third quarter was Bt1.90 per seat per kilometre, compared to Bt2.20 in the same period last year.

The yield is forecast to rise to Bt2.10 next year, Piyasvasti said.

He said THAI would hold an executive management workshop on Monday and Tuesday to discuss how the airline should handle the current situation. The working group will also evaluate overall operations in the current quarter. A press conference will be held after the two-day meeting.

The company will submit the conclusions reached to the executive board on November 18 for further action.

Piyasvasti said one of the cost-cutting measures being implemented was to reduce the number of free tickets and privileges. The airline issues 180,000 free tickets each year to the company's staff, as well as to current and former executives.

"We will cut back on free tickets just during this peak season from November to January, in order to reduce operating costs," he said.

Meanwhile, the executive board yesterday appointed three directors to new executive positions, with immediate effect. Woranate Laprabang, formerly director for the strategic implementation and evaluation department, is appointed vice president for corporate strategy and planning development.

Jirawan Chaisakul, formerly director of the product and service information system department, is appointed vice president for the information technology services department.

Ruangyos Pamonmontri, formerly director of the Europe and Africa department, is appointed vice president for the sales and distribution department.
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Old November 12th, 2009, 08:19 PM   #515
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Carrier designs strategy for next 50 years

The Nation Published on November 11, 2009

Thai Airways International plans to spend Bt5 billion to upgrade seating and in-flight entertainment and another Bt1 billion on its information-technology system.

The move is part of THAI's five-year strategy from next year.

The "Mission TG 100" strategic plan is aimed at satisfying passengers, improving competitiveness and enhancing flexibility amid industry volatility, said president Piyasvasti Amranand.

He said the management team was finalising funding for projects aimed at improving service efficiency and competitiveness. Once a budget is set, the airline can then identify how much it needs from next year's planned recapitalisation.

"If the Finance Ministry does not join the recapitalisation, we'll hold a workshop with the board to find ways of preserving THAI's status as a state enterprise," he said.

The ministry owns 51 per cent of the national carrier. THAI has enjoyed financial privileges as a state enterprise, with half of its existing loans extended on the condition it retain that status until loan maturity.

THAI also plans to reschedule Bt29 billion in short-term debts due next year for another seven to 10 years.

Piyasvasti yesterday said the "Mission TG 100" strategy, to be submitted on November 28 for board consideration, also called for leasing more aircraft, with an exact number to be finalised later. Leases would be short term only, given that in the next few years aircraft manufacturers will produce new aircraft models, such as the Airbus A350 and the Boeing 787, that can better serve the strategy.

The national carrier will also lease the new models instead buying them.

THAI now has a fleet of 85 aircraft with an average age of 11.7 years, which means most of them will have to be decommissioned over the next decade, Piyasvasti said.

The strategy was hammered out during a workshop with 150 executives this past Sunday and Monday. THAI's board is expected to approve it on December 18, for execution next year.

"Mission TG 100" is intended to guide THAI, which celebrates its 50th anniversary next year, during its next 50 years, Piyasvasti said. Despite excellent service, the national flag carrier has encountered obstacles. To remain in business during the next 50 years, it must change its organisational structure for strong and sustainable competitiveness.

"This will place THAI among the top three regional airlines and the top five global carriers," he added.
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Old November 13th, 2009, 09:09 PM   #516
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Old November 16th, 2009, 08:58 PM   #517
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THAI back to net loss

By The Nation 17/11/2009

Thai Airways International attributed its worse-than-expected Bt4 billion third-quarter net loss to fierce competition in the airline industry and the baht's appreciation.

"Even though the company incurred a loss in the third quarter, it achieved significant passenger load, cargo and commercial mail load, cabin factor, and improved freight load factor on a regular basis in October compared to September," president Piyasvasti Amranand said in a statement.

Last month, the company saw improvements in revenue per passenger-kilometre (RPK) of 8.2 per cent, revenue per freight tonne-kilometre of 8.5 per cent, cabin factor of 74.4 per cent to 75.3 per cent and freight load factor from 58.8 per cent to 59.4 per cent.

In the first nine months, net losses narrowed to Bt1.57 billion from Bt6.6 billion in the same period last year.

Revenues fell Bt15 billion or 27.7 per cent to Bt39 billion, while expenses dropped 20.7 per cent to Bt41.56 billion.

THAI also posted Bt2.7 billion in foreign exchange losses in the third quarter, against a Bt4.7 billion gain last year.

"The world economic conditions recovered during the third quarter ... However, due to high competition, THAI's passenger yield excluding fuel surcharge decreased to Bt1.94/RPK in the quarter compared to Bt1.96/RPK in the second quarter and Bt2.34/RPK during the third quarter last year.

"In addition, the average fuel price during the third quarter increased from the first half of 2009," Piyasvasti said.

The median estimate of five analysts surveyed by Bloomberg was for a loss of Bt3.5 billion.
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Old November 17th, 2009, 03:05 AM   #518
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New president slams Thai Airways

By Juliana Liu
Business reporter, BBC News

Piyasvasti Amranand
Mr Amranand slammed favouritism at his airline

The new president of Thai Airways has strongly criticised political interference in his airline.

Thailand's loss-making national carrier continues to struggle with enormous pressure from outside, Piyasvasti Amranand told the BBC.

The newly appointed head of Thai Airways was in London on a global road show to gather investor support.

"The management had not really been allowed to manage the company," Mr Amranand said in an unusually frank interview.

"The company had been interfered heavily by the board, by the politicians. That had substantially weakened the management of the company, and our response to the crisis."


He has been the airline's president for just four weeks. Mr Amranand said it had taken months of negotiations to secure a strong enough mandate for his new job.

On Monday, the state-owned carrier reported a net loss of $121m (£71.8m) for the July-to-September quarter.

The results were worse than analysts had expected. They forecast another loss in the fourth quarter, traditionally high season for tourism.

Thai Airways is currently overhauling its management and business operations after reporting a record loss in the last three months of 2008.

Mr Amranand seems an unusual pick to run the national carrier. As a fund manager, he refused to own shares in the airline.

"Thai Airways was a company which did not provide transparent information to investors," he said.

"Thai Airways management were not able to provide clear directions or policy to investors. Most of the big funds, whether in Thailand or outside Thailand, stayed away from Thai Airways stocks."

'Top three'

Mr Amranand said he had been drawn to head the airline because it was in trouble.

"I would like to see the company becoming one of the best airlines again in Asia, and the world. Maybe top three in Asia, top five in the world, within two or three years," he said.

Central to this success, he said, was reducing political interference in the day to day running of the airline, which is majority owned by the state.

He said one of the most serious problems was nepotism and favouritism in promotions and in the awarding of contracts.

"When you promote people who have connections but no ability, initially it's okay, but eventually it weakens the company, Mr Amranand said.

"It reduces the quality of the work. That is what has happened to Thai Airways."

an interesting acticale from the bbc, looks like hes trying to drum up support, but how many people his he going to annoy with CORRECT AND TRUTHFUL comments like this?
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Old November 23rd, 2009, 10:56 AM   #519
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THAI expenses cut Bt10 bn in 9 months

By The Nation 23/11/2009

Thai Airways International Plc has reduced non-fuel expenses by Bt10.3 billion in the first three quarters of 2009, close to achieve the annual goal of Bt11.84 billion.

President Piyasvasti Amranand said that through hard work the reductions came from various measures under THAI's cost reduction measures, which cover the cut in unnecessary expenses as well as revision in work processes to increase productivity and efficiency.

The Bt11.84 billion amount is equivalent to 15 per cent of actual cost reductions in fiscal year 2009.

"The Company began implementing non-fuel related expenses at the start of the world economic recession that affected the commercial airline industry with a decline in passenger demand, as a means of managing its finances and remain competitive. The cost reductions are in areas that may be reduced without impacting safety, quality, or standards of services. As these reductions succeed in reducing corporate expenses, the company continues to implement these cost cutting measures," he said.

For the first nine months, the majority of cost reductions were achieved through areas such as personnel-related expenses, flight crew and cabin crew costs, marketing, sales, advertising, leases on aircraft, engines, and spare parts as follows:

ุ Personnel-related expense reduced by 12.5 per cent from last year

ุ Overtime reduced by 47.7 per cent from last year

ุ Flight crew and cabin crew expense reduced by 26 per cent from last year

ุ Administration expenses reduced by 19.0 per cent from last year

ุ Sales & Advertising expense reduced by 19.3 per cent from last year

ุ Flight operational expense reduced by 67 per cent from last year

ุ Flights service fee (non-fuel expense) reduced by 15.6 per cent from last year

ุ Aircraft maintenances reduced by 21.5 per cent from last year

ุ Rental of aircraft and spare parts reduced 63.9 per cent from last year
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Old November 24th, 2009, 08:52 PM   #520
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Boeing sees opportunity in Thai Airways plan

THE NATION Published on November 25, 2009

US aerospace giant Boeing expects to benefit from Thai Airways International's plan to upgrade its fleet.Boeing Commercial Airplanes marketing vice president Randy Tinseth said that during discussions with THAI recently, the airline showed interest in acquiring Boeing 777 cargo aircraft.

The Boeing 777 cargo version is considered the most cost-efficient. Air France already uses it, said Tinseth, who was attending a seminar in Bangkok yesterday.

He said Boeing foresaw long-term growth for the aviation industry in Southeast Asia and forecast a turnaround for Thailand's economy next year.

"We have already reached the bottom of the economic recession, and we expect 2010 to be the year of economic recovery and 2011 for the airline industry," Tinseth said, adding that demand for new aircraft should begin in 2012.

During the inauguration of two new Airbuses yesterday, THAI president Piyasvasti Amranand also expected the airline's load factor to average 75 per cent in the fourth quarter, thanks to the strengthening economic recovery and more stable oil prices. People's appetite for travel should begin to recover if the political situation remains calm, he said.

Early next year, THAI will receive five more Airbus A330s, which will increase the airline's A330 fleet to eight. It now has 90 aircraft: 47 Boeings, 42 Airbuses and 1 ATR.

Piyasvasti stressed THAI saw no need to open new routes next year, because its business strategy would focus on increasing flight frequencies on busy routes, such as to Singapore.

Tinseth forecast airlines around the world would need 29,000 new aircraft worth US$3.2 trillion (Bt106 trillion) through 2028. Older, less-efficient aircraft will be replaced with efficient, newer-generation models. Boeing's order backlog as of the third quarter was for 3,400 aircraft worth a combined $254 billion.

Air-traffic growth in Southeast Asia is expected to outpace economic growth, he said. Passenger growth over the next 20 years is expected to be above 6.5 per cent, while the region's economy is projected to grow at 4.6 per cent.

In the Asia-Pacific, long-term annual air-traffic growth is projected to be 6.9 per cent over the next two decades, Tinseth said. Overall air-travel volume in the Asia-Pacific is growing rapidly and forecast to account for 41 per cent of all modes of transport in 20 years, up from 32 per cent now.

Thailand's gross domestic product (GDP) is expected to contract 3 per cent this year and grow 5 per cent next year before settling into a long-term trend of 4.5 per cent annual growth.

The contribution of travel and tourism to Thailand's GDP is expected to rise from 14.7 per cent this year to 15.6 per cent by 2019.

"In the long term, airlines will continue to invest in more efficient, environmentally friendly aircraft that also serve the needs of passengers," Tinseth said.

Boeing's manufacturing strategy is to deliver the right size of aircraft with the right capacity at the right time, Tinseth said.

But he admitted the company's superjumbo Boeing 787-8 would not be in service until late next year, behind the Airbus A380, which is already being operated by a number of airlines.
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