The freshly-inducted Prime Minister Srettha Thavisin organised a high-profile meeting with the representatives of eight key airlines on a recent Monday, to strategise ways to maximise profits from the upswing in tourist influx expected in the forthcoming holiday season. The representatives in question were: CEO of Thai Airways International, Chai Eamsiri; CEO of Thai VietJet Air, Woranate Laprabang; CEO of Thai AirAsia, Santisuk Klongchaiya; CEO of Thai AirAsia X, Tassapon Bijleveld; Acting CEO of Thai Smile Airways, Chaiyong Rattanapaisansuk; CEO of Bangkok Airways, Puttipong Prasarttong-Osoth; CEO of Thai Lion Air, Aswin Yangkirativorn; and CEO of Nok Air, Wutthiphum Jurangkool.
Kerati Kijmanawat, the director of Airports of Thailand (AOT), and Suttipong Kongpool, the director of the Civil Aviation Authority of Thailand (CAAT), were other distinguished attendees of the important discussion.
The meeting served as a platform for Prime Minister Srettha to acquaint himself with the latest developments in domestic and international air travel. Participants also underscored issues that are curbing air travel, enlisting the support of state authorities to stimulate tourism during the bustling tourist period from November to March.
The discussion also threw light on the challenges faced by the tourism and aviation industry insiders post the announcement of the free visa policy for countries with significant potential for tourism, such as China to name a notable one. The policy envisages a boost in tourist arrivals, which however, would necessitate the government to increase flight frequencies by a minimum of 20% during the high travel season.
Increasing the number of flights in service to accommodate higher passenger movement, and vigorously promoting Thailand’s tourism industry in potential-laden markets like China and India, are seen as effective solutions to the challenges at hand.
Assuring his government’s commitment, Mr Srettha stated that his party, Pheu Thai, will commence its efforts in earnest once it takes over office, to bolster tourism and carry out necessary measures. He added that Pheu Thai regards the fourth quarter of this year as pivotal to jumpstart the economy and stimulate tourism.
Lastly, PM Srettha extended his appreciation to the AoT for their role played in steering the tourism promotion policy during peak season. He applauded their efforts to streamline airport administration, heighten flight frequency, and implement runway expansions, calling these actions integral to securing the tourism boom.