HEADLINES [click on headline to view story]:

Thai Airways International presents 5-year plan to staff

Yunnan looking for tourists

Phuket Air moves north

Air India and Lufthansa sign MOU for cooperation

‘New Look’ Qantas international fleet a feature of ongoing investment

PAL offers domestic specials

Thai Airways International presents 5-year plan to staff

Travel and tourism strategies discussed

Phitsanu Thepthong

THAI’s Commercial Department ran a two-day seminar for staff to explain policy and work plans for the coming year. Part of this hinged around the government policy on pushing Chiang Mai to become the Northern Aviation Hub.

Kanok Abhiradee (left), Thai Airways International’s president, delivers the opening speech to some 200 general managers and senior executives at THAI’s annual commercial conference 2003 at Chiang Mai Plaza Hotel. Shown here, he is about to bang the drum to mark the opening session.

200 general managers, sale managers, office managers, senior executives, from revenue planning and management, industry relations and commercial support, sales and distribution, in-flight customer services, cargo and mail commercial department covering both domestic and international staff participated in the meeting.

Kanok Abhiradee, THAI’s president, said during the opening ceremony of the conference held at Chiang Mai Plaza, that THAI was aiming at updating all of its overseas managers on its marketing plan, which would be implemented within the next 5 years, as well as the company’s action plan, promotional activities and program for the year 2004.

The THAI policy and operational strategies were also given to develop effective guidelines, especially in areas of sales promotion, planning, services, cargo, cooperation with alliance partners, travel and tourism and marketing.

Although Thailand was not listed as a SARS infected country, the number of tourist arrivals in Thailand as well as the Asian region declined dramatically, said the THAI president. To continue to develop and position THAI as a leading carrier in Asia-Pacific, and in the world, THAI had to come up with a whole raft of changes and promotions, as well as routing improvements.

Yunnan looking for tourists

Envoys sent to Chiang Mai

Phitsanu Thepthong

Yunnan Provincial Tourism Administration delegates, led by Tan Congfang, deputy director general and another 16 Chinese travelled down from Mainland China along the Mekong River, exploring the tourism routes in this Economic Quadrangle Cooperation region (China, Laos, Burma and Thailand).

The Three Pagodas of Chongsheng Temple in the ancient town of Dali. (Photo courtesy of National Tourism Administration of the People’s Republic of China)

The visiting delegates presented tourism information on Yunnan at the Thai-Chinese bilateral meeting held at Westin Hotel, Chiang Mai to local tourism related business, service operators, and entrepreneurs, mostly from Chiang Mai and Chiang Rai provinces.

VIPs on the panel presentation included Rachan Veeraphan, the chairman of the Joint Economic Quadrangle Chamber Committee; Deputy Chiang Mai governor Parinya Panthong; Peng Rendong, the consul general of the Consulate General of China, to Chiang Mai; Chalermsak Suranant, the director of Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT)’s Chiang Mai Office; Tan Congfang, the deputy director-general of Yunnan Provincial Tourism Administration, and Huang Linwu, the director of Yunnan Provincial Tourism Information.

One purpose of this trip was to review natural resources, especially along the Mekong River, for tightening closer relations among the countries. “This is a joint tourism project of between Yunnan Provincial Tourism Administration of China, and northern Thailand,” said the Chinese group.

In 2003-2004, the tourism promotion plan among the four countries concerned has been pushed to put tourism this region on the world’s tourism map.

Deputy Chiang Mai governor Parinya said that Thailand and China have long been neighbouring and sister countries, particularly the Chiang Mai and Shanghai cities, and hopefully, he said that the four nations will gain win-win solutions and benefits.

Chinese Consul General Peng Rengdong said the Chinese government wants to create close relationships between the two countries, particularly the tourism activities between Yunnan and the North of Thailand, including Chiang Rai and Chiang Mai, “I proudly cheer and support the ambitious plan for Chiang Mai and Chiang Rai with China. We will help facilitate those going out and in coming as tourists across the two countries,” he said.

“We come here to explore and seek more tourism opportunities by working and planning together for the Yunnan tourism to be linked with the world’s tourist maps,” said a delegate of Yunnan Tourism Resources.

The Chinese officials said that Yunnan is developing its tourism spots, as it is visited by 1.3 million tourists annually, with about 60,000 Thais visiting, while Chinese tourists from Yunnan visiting Thailand are also around the same numbers.

For more information, see the Web site: http://www.

Phuket Air moves north

Chiang Mai - Chiang Rai in 40 minutes

Marion Vogt

Business people will have it a little easier in the future, with Phuket Air announcing two new daily flights from Chiang Mai to Chiang Rai and return, effective from October 20 this year.

Chiang Mai Airport director, Flying Officer Suthara Huangsuwan believes this will put Chiang Mai on the international map with business people being able to travel easily between the two northern ports.

(Seated, front from left) Airport director, Flying Officer Suthara Huangsuwan, GM and vice president of Chiang Mai International Airport; Suwat Tantipan, Chiang Mai governor; Senior Vice President Kanin Phuvastien and Group Capt. Patana Tareekes, vice president administration Phuket Air, (behind) Phuket Air pilots, engineers, and stewardesses.

Suwat Tantipan, Chiang Mai governor welcomed Senior Vice President Kanin Phuvastien and Group Capt. Patana Tareekes, vice president administration of Phuket Air, together with all their pilots, ground staff and attractive stewardesses to the north. “Chiang Mai is happy to include this time-saving service as another advantage in holidays and doing business in the north. We are sure that Phuket Air will make the Rose of the North an even more attractive destination,” he said.

Phuket Air operates a fleet of three Boeing 737’s and uses YS-11 dual turbo-prop aircraft for short haul flights to serve domestic routes, such as Chiang Mai - Chiang Rai.

The new route for the north is aimed at the business managers, the weekend travelers or the tourists on a tight time schedule.

Flight times are:

Chiang Mai - Chiang Rai: 2 flights daily - 7:30 a.m. and 6 p.m.

Chiang Rai - Chiang Mai: 2 flights daily - 9 a.m. and 7:30 p.m.

The introductory offer for a 30 day validity ticket during the first two months will be 1,500 baht for a round trip ticket or 900 baht one way, tax and insurance charges not included.

Air India and Lufthansa sign MOU for cooperation

Air-India (AI) and Lufthansa (LH) have confirmed that they have reached an agreement in principle to establish a Broad Based Strategic Co-operation between the two companies. A Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) has been signed in Delhi by S. Lauer, Member Executive Board and K.U. Garnadt, Senior Vice President for Lufthansa and Sunil Arora, Managing Director and V.K. Verma, Commercial Director for Air-India.

The MOU specifies various areas of co-operation amongst them Commercial, Engineering and IT services. Dedicated Working Groups have been set-up to workout the details of the intended co-operation. Both companies see significant business opportunities to and from India, acknowledging the fact that a close cooperation and partnership is the best way to participate in this development.

‘New Look’ Qantas international fleet a feature of ongoing investment

Qantas recently announced that it would offer new seating and interiors on almost all its international aircraft by the end of next year. A highlight of the program is Skybed - a new, state-of-the-art, cocoon-style sleeper seat - that will be installed on all 30 of the airline’s 747-400s from this September and seven new Airbus A330-300s that will be delivered between June and December 2004.

Qantas’ new International Business Class will also feature specially trained, dedicated Business Class flight attendants; new food and wine; a new service style; a self-service bar for drinks and snacks; premium quality noise cancellation headsets and luxury amenity kits.

PAL offers domestic specials

Philippine Airlines (PAL) is offering special short-term promotional fares on selected domestic routes to two key segments - senior citizens and birthday celebrants.

Senior citizens enjoy an automatic 40 percent off the published economy or business class fare until October 15. Similarly, passengers traveling on their birthday receive a 40 percent discount on normal economy or business class fare until November 30. Both promotions are applicable for travel between Manila and Cebu, Bacolod, Iloilo, Kalibo, Roxas, Tacloban, Davao, Cagayan de Oro, Butuan, Zamboanga and Puerto Princesa.

Meanwhile, PAL is also offering incentives to all other passengers who do not qualify for the promotional fares. Passengers who buy normal economy, business class and Special Saver fares receive an additional 10 kilograms free baggage allowance for travel between Manila and any PAL domestic point. The incentive is valid until December 15, 2003. (TTG Asia)