Meeting with Airline CEOs
Newly-appointed Prime Minister Srettha Thavisin held a meeting with representatives of eight airlines on Monday to discuss strategies for capitalizing on the expected increase in tourist arrivals during the high season. The CEOs present at the meeting included:
- Chai Eamsiri from Thai Airways International
- Woranate Laprabang from Thai VietJet Air
- Santisuk Klongchaiya from Thai AirAsia
- Tassapon Bijleveld from Thai AirAsia X
- Chaiyong Rattanapaisansuk, acting CEO of Thai Smile Airways
- Puttipong Prasarttong-Osoth from Bangkok Airways
- Aswin Yangkirativorn from Thai Lion Air
- Wutthiphum Jurangkool from Nok Air
Kerati Kijmanawat, director of the Airports of Thailand (AOT), and Suttipong Kongpool, director of the Civil Aviation Authority of Thailand (CAAT), also participated in the discussions.
During the meeting, Prime Minister Srettha was updated on the current domestic and global air transport situation. The attendees also debated the challenges hindering air travel, with the airline CEOs advocating for increased government support to boost tourism during the upcoming high season, which spans from November to March.
The discussion emphasized the issues faced by tourism and airline industry operators in light of the free visa policy recently introduced for high-potential countries such as China. The policy aims to increase tourist arrivals; however, for it to be effective, the government must boost flight frequency by at least 20% during the high season. This would require deploying more aircraft to accommodate the expanded flight schedule and promoting Thai tourism in major markets like China and India.
Government’s Role in Tourism Promotion
Prime Minister Srettha confirmed that the Pheu Thai Party will initiate plans to intensify tourism promotion and implement necessary measures as soon as it is sworn into office. He recognized the fourth quarter of the year as a crucial period for stimulating the economy and tourism sector.
Additionally, Mr. Srettha expressed gratitude to the AOT for its cooperation in driving tourism promotion policies during the peak season. The agency has contributed positively by ensuring efficient airport management, increasing flight frequency, and initiating runway expansion projects.
Overall, the meeting between Prime Minister Srettha and the airline representatives marked a productive collaboration aimed at leveraging the high season to boost Thailand’s tourism industry. With the government and key industry stakeholders working together, the country can look forward to a successful and prosperous tourism high season.