I regret I was out of the country when Mr. Piyasvasti Amranand, our newly appointed President of Thai Airways, met and talked with local and foreign press at the Foreign Correspondents Club of Thailand in what was scheduled as “A candid evening with Mr. Piyasvasti Amranand.”
Right, Mr. Piyasvasti Amranand (left), THAI President, presented a Boeing 747-400 aircraft model as a commemorative gift to Mr. Marwaan Macan-Markar (right), FCCT President (right), as a token of appreciation on having him as a guest speaker.
When I returned and read what Mr. Amranand had reported in his speech, I was suddenly taken back to the grand old days when THAI was riding the wave of glory, when every member of THAI’s staff, from president and vice president to secretary and receptionist, when they were all in full accord with the airline, when they were proud to be part of it all. I have to admit, after reading the president’s speech, the good old days are on their way back. With the attitude and drive Mr. Piyasvasti has, he can’t go wrong.
During his presentation, I learned later, Mr. Amranand shared his vision for the future of THAI and talked frankly about current problems facing the Company. He reviewed the present year’s financial performance, and stated his belief that the worst was now over, with the prospect of returning to limited profit in 2010.
Mr. Amranand did, however, mark the difficulties that the airline faces. He warned that competition within the aviation industry was sure to continue and that THAI would have to maximize efforts to reduce operating costs and improve yields, which were currently unacceptably low. He reported that THAI’s cost-cutting policies targeted savings of over 11 billion Baht for this year, with some aspects of operating budgets having been cut by up to 50%, but not in areas of safety or service quality.
Left, Weighing the options is important. I liked when asked about his initial impressions of THAI during the five weeks since he joined the company, he commented on how impressed he had been by the hard working dedication of so many of the staff. He highlighted this as one of THAI’s greatest assets. With encouragement like that from the man on the top, the staff is certain to regain much of its past spirit.
Within the company, Mr. Amranand reported that major reorganization was taking place that would make all levels on management more accountable, with performance evaluation being introduced throughout the organization. In the field of sales and marketing, he set the target for THAI’s Internet tickets sales to be increased from under 4% presently, to over 15% within two years.
Mr. Amranand spoke about reorganizing the fleet by retiring older aircraft, to be replaced by modern, more fuel-efficient jetliners. Eight Airbus A330 aircraft will join THAI’s fleet in 2010 and six A380 super-jumbo aircraft will be added to THAI’s fleet during 2012-13.
Finally, Mr. Amranand promised that THAI would be revitalized to return its former eminence as one of Asia’s top three airlines, a reputation it had enjoyed for so many of its early years. With such encouraging words who wouldn’t be proud to be a part of Thai Airways. We all have to part to do, and do it we shall––that’s not me saying it. It’s Mr. Piyasvasti Amranand, our newly appointed President of Thai Airways.