Monday, May 17, 2010

Thai Airways Booms Tourism in Cambodia

BY BUTH REAKSMEY KONGKEA

Thai Airways International Public Company Limited has been a story of rapid growth and success almost without parallel in the international aviation history over the past 50 years. Few could have visualized that by 2010, as the Thai Airway could have a fleet of 85 jetliners and carry almost 20 millions passengers and 500,000 tons of air cargo annually.

Mr. Narinthorn Purnakupta, General Manager of the Thai Airways International PCL Phnom Penh, said that it was on May 1st, 1960 that Thai flew flights connecting 10 major cities in the region and one of them was located in Phnom Penh.

“This morning, Thai Airways International Public Company Limited relived its historical first flight as part of the 50th Anniversary celebration, on the Bangkok-Hong Kong route with a Boeing B747-400 repaired in the original livery design as seen on the DC-6B aircraft in 1960,” he said during his opening remarks delivered to the celebration of the Thai’s 50th Anniversary on May 3rd in Phnom Penh.

The General Manager stated that all passengers on board all Thai international flights from Bangkok today will receive golden crispy coconut trolls for dessert, which will be served in the special Thai container that passengers can keep as a commemorative souvenir, he said, adding that today Thai’s route network extends to over 70 destinations across five continents. During the early years, Thai opened such exotic destinations as Bali and Katmandu for tourism, and was the first all-jet airline in Asia with a fleet of Caravelle SE-210 aircraft.

Mr. Narithorn continued to say that the airline’s vision has always been to create an atmosphere and standard of service on its flights that reflect the traditional Thai values of hospitality, with a warm welcome extended to its flying guests. He added that this Royal Orchid Service commences with the gracious “WAI” gesture of greeting to boarding passengers and the unique cabin hostess costumes of vivid Thai silk. All these elements are designed to make travelers feel that they are already in Thailand during their flights.

He pointed out that the success of this policy can be judged by the countless international awards that Thai has received throughout its history. The recent of these accolades have included being voted “Best Southeast Asian Airline” by readers of both Global Traveler and TTG Asia magazines, and Thai being placed among the top ten world airlines by Travel and Leisure, Conde Nast Traveler, Business Traveler Asia Pacific, and Online surveys carried out by SKYTRAD and Smart TravelAsia.com.

In 1997, Thai Airway was the one of the five founding members of Star Alliance, which has since become the world’s largest and strongest global airline network, with its 26 members serving over 1,000 destinations in 171 countries, he said, adding that Thai Airway’s award-winning “Frequent Flyer Program-Royal Orchid Plus” which now has over 2.5 million members, gives passengers the opportunity to earn generous miles, to be redeemed for exiting awards, not only on Thai Airway but also on all other Star Alliance carriers.

“As Thailand’s national airline, Thai Airway’s corporate strategy in seeking to be a first-choice global carrier can be summed up as ‘High Trust and World Class, with Touches of Thailand’,” he said. // with pictures//



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