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Greater Phuket has plenty to offer, provided the price is right

Phuket Senator Lashes 'Selfish' Thai Airways

Friday, April 16, 2010
''SELFISH'' Thai Airways is to feel the heat from a powerful tourism body for lifting airfares by large amounts just as Thailand's tourism industry faces perhaps its worst crisis.

The dramatic increases, with Bangkok-Phuket up by 50 percent and Bangkok-Samui up by 70 percent, could not have come at a worse time and have left just about everyone outside Thai Airways scratching their heads in puzzlement.

Phuket Senator and Chairwoman of the powerful Standing Committee of Tourism of the Senate, Tunyaratt Achariyachai, has called a crisis summit for April 21 in Bangkok to ask Thai Airways to reconsider, and to tell them to reduce the fares unless they have an adequate explanation for the sudden, untimely increases.

''Thai Airways should be selling tickets at a cheaper than normal price right now,'' she said. ''With the economy difficult and tourism in crisis, it does not make sense to lift prices now,'' she said. ''If anything, they should be offering discounts or 'buy one, get one free,' the way that other airlines do.''

Senator Tunyaratt said she visited Krabi yesterday and was shocked to find that tourism agents reported their income had been slashed in half.

''It is very quiet,'' she said. ''Krabi is hurting, which is why Thai Airways needs to aim for prices that allow Thais to travel.

''They [Thai Airways] are two-faced and do not have the heart to help solve Thailand's problem. They are just selfish. If you open a business, you need to have ethics as well.''

Every organisation and business that can help Thailand in the current crisis should be doing so, she said.

Senator Tunyaratt said the Bangkok protest and its violence and fatalities could not have come at a worse time for low-season travel bookings.

''People are at the decision-making stage in whether they come to Phuket or go to other rival destinations,'' she said. ''Some are bound to change their minds and go elsewhere.''

The message needed to be that Phuket was a different destination to Bangkok, safe and secure and not in danger of protests or violence. But she said, Thai Airways' decision to lift prices would not help at all.

At the crisis meeting on Tuesday will be representatives of the Senate committee, Thai Airways, and the Transport Department. A promotional road show of Phuket officials is due to fly out from Phuket to Korea the following day.

Comments

Comments have been disabled for this article.

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Might I suggest that the board of Thai Airways be flown through the nearest cloud of volcanic ash to allow them a moment to consider the error of their ways?

Posted by Tanya Millbank on April 16, 2010 18:29

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Class Thaiconomics. Less customers, so bump up the prices to maintain income.

The thing is, there is a supply/demand situation where this will work - where demand is inelastic. That is, a large rise in prices creates only a small drop in sales. Obviously, if demand is elastic, you actually lose money as sales plummet with the price increase.

I can only assume this is Thai Airways fleecing incoming tourists, who either know no better or have booked a Thai Airways flight into BKK and a Thai Airways connecting flight onwards to Phuket. Thai people and more informed foreigners will simply book Nok Air, Air Asia, One Two Go etc.

Just a guess, but it might be Thai Airways intent to cut back on the number of flights (thus freeing up aircraft for other routes) and have full airplanes on the BKK-Phuket with each passenger paying more. Pretty much a 'fleece the dummies' strategy.

Posted by Doug on April 16, 2010 19:07

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This is a classic Thai business school way to solve the problem. With 50% fewer customers just raise the price 50% and hope for the best

Posted by Kim Aa. Madsen on April 16, 2010 20:09

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Typical of Thai Airways NO LOGIC,,,,,
That's why they are in the position they are in at the moment,
losing money and face at the same time...

They need some new leaders capable of saving them...VERY QUICKLY

Posted by barka on April 16, 2010 23:14

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For too long, nepotism, cronyism and other bad business practices reigned at Thai Airways, the new president is just trying to get toward the black. Good luck to him. Now you have a far safer airline

Posted by C.F.I.T. on April 17, 2010 08:59

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For quite some time now we have avoided Thai Airways and the equally unfriendly Suvarnabhumi Airport by using Singapore for our onward connections. It is considerably cheaper and more customer friendly. Only downside is when returning to Phuket the queue for immigration can be time consuming.

Posted by Graham on April 17, 2010 09:07

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The problem is that the budget airlines can jack up THEIR prices now and still be cheaper than Thai!!

Posted by Mister Ree on April 17, 2010 15:25

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Barka. Thai Logic is an oxymoron.

Posted by Glen on April 17, 2010 15:57

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So someone finally has admitted that the tourism industry is in the proverbial. And what is Thai logic? Bang the price up. Is there a light at the end of the tunnel for more tourists? Not a hope.

Posted by billy Dale on April 17, 2010 17:03

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GLEN ... Who is he, does he live on Phuket? RAWAI...maybe?

Posted by barka on April 18, 2010 07:20

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I agree with the comments of Graham. Now that Thai airline prices have doubled it puts Silkair on par price wise. So now I use Silkair direct to Singapore from Chiang Mai and not have to worry about the ongoing issues at Suvarnabhumi Airport.

Posted by Tiger on May 14, 2010 06:35


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