BANGKOK, 15 December 2021: Thai International is rebuilding business relations with tour operators and travel agents, particularly in Europe; the airline’s top management told a networking conference under the theme “THAI Networking: Discover Brand New Sky.”
Hosted in Bangkok last week, key local and overseas travel agencies attended the confidence-building event sponsored by Mastercard.
THAI chief commercial officer, Nond Kalinta reassured tour operators that the national airline, which is undergoing a painful restructuring, “was ready to move forward to regain confidence and trust amongst local and overseas travel agencies, especially those from Europe who represent important revenue share to THAI.”
THAI relied heavily on tour operator bookings in its early days pioneering new destinations such as Bali and Kathmandu, Nepal. The role of tour operators supplying group bookings declined and in recent years the emphasis switched almost entirely to generating direct bookings driven by digital, online booking services and online travel agencies.
The conference agenda highlighted THAI’s readiness as the national carrier to focus on sales, marketing and revenue strategies to coincide with the country’s reopening policy.
In a summary of its rehabilitation plan, Nond focused on the key pillar marketing strategies, focusing on tour operators and travel agencies, particularly in Europe.
Sales and Revenue Optimisation
THAI will focus on potential revenue-generating destinations that will enable THAI to maximise sales and profit, working in close cooperation with Star Alliance partner airlines and THAI Smile Airways to extend the route network.
In support of the government’s reopening policy for Q1/2022, THAI plans services to 19 destinations in Asia, nine destinations in Europe, one destination in Australia and 14 domestic destinations operated by Thai Smile Airways. The daughter airline will also fly to neighbouring destinations such as Singapore, Kuala Lumpur, Penang, Vientiane, Yangon, Siem Reap and Phnom Penh.
Feasible Products & Improved Services
New products and services will also be introduced, such as exclusive privileges for Royal Orchid Plus members, pre-selected meals service for Royal Silk Class passengers and enhanced inflight entertainment. THAI is also collaborating with Doi Tung, The Mae Fah Luang Foundation, to create “Black Silk Blend,” a special coffee exclusively blended for THAI, which will be served on board to Royal Silk Class passengers.
Pricing and Distribution Channels
Sales distribution will be further enhanced through collaboration with travel agencies and online channels. Pricing will be simplified and dynamic to market demand.
Digital Marketing will be extensively used based on customer network core behaviours to engage and deliver always-on content through social media and a CRM platform with AI capabilities.