THAI returns to the roots of the travel agency
BANGKOK, December 15, 2021: Thai International is rebuilding business relationships with tour operators and travel agents, especially in Europe; the airline’s senior management said at a networking conference themed “THAI Network: Experience the Whole New Sky.”
Held in Bangkok last week, leading local and overseas travel agencies attended the Mastercard-sponsored confidence-building event.
THAI’s Chief Commercial Officer, Nond Kalinta, reassured tour operators that the national airline, which is undergoing a painful restructuring, “is ready to move forward to regain the trust of local and foreign travel agencies, by especially those in Europe which represent a significant share of income for THAILANDERS.”
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 providing group bookings has diminished and in recent years the focus has shifted almost entirely to generating direct bookings driven by digital and online booking services and online travel agencies.
The conference agenda highlighted THAI’s willingness as a 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 key pillar marketing strategies, focusing on tour operators and travel agencies, particularly in Europe.
Sales and revenue optimization
THAI will focus on potential revenue-generating destinations that will allow THAI to maximize sales and profits, working closely with Star Alliance partner airlines and THAI Smile Airways to expand the route network.
In support of the government’s reopening policy for the first quarter of 2022, THAI is planning services to 19 destinations in Asia, nine destinations in Europe, one destination in Australia and 14 domestic destinations operated by Thai Smile Airways. The airline will also serve neighboring destinations such as Singapore, Kuala Lumpur, Penang, Vientiane, Yangon, Siem Reap and Phnom Penh.
Feasible products and improved services
New products and services will also be introduced, such as exclusive privileges for Royal Orchid Plus members, pre-selected meal service for Royal Silk Class passengers and enhanced in-flight 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 improved through collaboration with travel agencies and online channels. Pricing will be simplified and dynamic based on market demand.
Digital marketing will be widely used based on core customer network behaviors to engage and deliver always-on content through social media and a CRM platform with AI capabilities.