Bangkok Airways reveals its business plans for 2018
Bangkok Airways Public Company Limited headed by the airlines executives, Mr. Puttipong Prasarttong-Osoth, President, Mr. Prote Setsuwan, Vice President – Marketing, and Mr. Varong Israsena Na Ayudhya, Vice President – Sales, jointly revealed the company business outlook for 2018 at the Monthathip Room, Anantara Siam Hotel, Bangkok.
Mr Puttipong Prasarttong-Osoth, President of Bangkok Airways Public Company Limited commented that, “In 2017, total revenue of the company was 28,493.3 million baht, increased by 6.5 percent from the previous year. Net profit was reported amounting to 846.4 million baht, in which the profit attributable to the equity holders of the company was 787.9 million baht. Earnings per share was 0.38 baht. The total number of passengers in 2017 was 5.994 million passengers, increased by 5 percent from the previous year. In 2018, the total revenue is expected to grow by 10 percent. The number of passengers is expected to grow by 7 percent with the passenger load factor in 2018 expected to be at 70 percent.
“Last year, Bangkok Airways was awarded, World’s Best Regional Airline, and Best Regional Airline in Asia, by SkyTrax. This year, we will also strive to improve the quality of our services offered to passengers. Some of our development plans include new international passenger lounges at Suvarnabhumi airport, a new version of our mobile application, to name a few.
“As for our 2018 business outlook and direction, we will still focus on expanding our network to cover the most important destinations throughout Asia in order to facilitate our passengers and our codeshare partners. We will further utilize our strategic flying hubs which are Bangkok (Suvarnabhumi), Samui, and Chiang Mai by offering new non-stop services from these airports to some high potential destinations in Asia such as, Chiang Mai–Hanoi (Vietnam), scheduled to operate from 25 March 2018, and Phuket-Yangon (Myanmar), expected to launch in the fourth quarter of 2018. For Samui, the company plans to offer some new charter services to high potential cities in China such as Samui-Xian and Samui-Changsha. In addition to that, increased frequency will be added to our popular domestic and international routes such as Bangkok-Phuket, which will be increased to 66 flights a week, Bangkok-Vientiane (Laos) to 14 flights a week and Bangkok-Mandalay (Myanmar) to 11 flights a week.
“This year, the company plans to increase the number of our codeshare partners. In 2017, we signed codeshare agreements with 4 leading airlines, including Xiemen Airlines, Thai Airways, Vietnam Airlines and Hong Kong Airlines. To date, Bangkok Airways is in partnership with 24 airlines around the world, including our latest partner – El Al Israel Airlines. In 2018, we expect to sign more agreements with another 4 to 6 carriers.
“As for aircraft delivery plans, we currently have a total of 38 aircraft in our fleet. We are expecting to receive 2 Airbus A319 aircraft and we are planning to adjust our ATR72 fleet by removing 6 of our ATR72-500 and replacing them with the brand-new aircraft ATR72-600s which will continue the total number of 38 aircraft for 2018.
“This year, the company also plans to invest more in airport-related businesses in order to enhance the company’s overall performance. We are planning to build a new hangar at the Sukhothai airport, which can accommodate aircraft maintenance up to C-Check levels. We also plan to expand our Bangkok Air Catering business by opening one more air catering house at the Chiang Mai international airport (expected to be in operation by 2018). Last year, we opened our new catering house at Phuket airport as well as our Gourmet Primo Co., a culinary venture that supplies high quality foods, delicacies and special frozen meals. In addition to that, our ground handling company – Bangkok Flight Services is doing extremely well. The company has more than 74 airline clients and is expecting to sign more contracts with 4 additional airlines this year. Also, our BFS Cargo, which to date, has a total of 67 clients, is expecting to have 4 more clients by the end of 2018.
“For CSR, we will continue to support and be involved in Corporate Social Responsibility activities which remain one of our core missions whilst operating our business. To produce a fruitful and sustained Corporate Social Responsibility scheme, we plan to help build a stronger community, mainly around our three airports, Samui airport, Trat airport, and Sukhothai airport, as well as other destinations that we serve. We will extend our support to the local community through various campaigns.” added Mr. Puttipong.
Mr. Prote Setsuwan, Vice President – Marketing, revealed his marketing direction for 2018 stating that, “As it is our 50th anniversary this year, our marketing goal for this year will be to elevate Bangkok Airways brand positioning in both Thailand and the overseas markets, while exercising our integrated marketing strategy in order to create and strengthen our brand awareness. Moreover, we are in talks with two world-class brands that will help build our brand awareness in a global scale.
“Apart from special marketing events that will be rolled out throughout 2018, we will also work with one of the most talented Thai artists in composing a song that will emphasize Bangkok Airways brand positioning as a premium full service airline. We will also launch new testimonial commercial ads that feature our own passengers sharing their magical moments traveling with our airline.
“Throughout 2018, Bangkok Airways will roll out marketing activities to help increase sales volume such as running races, which will be run under the name, “Bangkok Airways Boutique Series 2018,” and will be held in our 7 destinations including Trat, Lampang, Sukhothai, Chiang Mai, Chiang Rai, Samui and Krabi. We will be also sponsoring the “THAI FIGHT,” which is seen as one of the most celebrated combat events in the world. Moreover, we are currently an official sponsor for 7 professional football teams in Thailand including Chiang Rai United, Chiang Mai FC, Krabi FC and Lampang FC, Trat FC and Kasetsart FC. This year, we will add two more teams and become an official sponsor for Samui City FC and Chiang Rai City FC.
“Apart from that, we will increasingly work closely with the government and the private sector to help promote Thai and South East Asian tourism. We will continue to work with local partners to promote local events such as the Phuket Old Town Festival, Chiang Rai International Balloon Fiesta, Chiang Mai Songkran Festival, and the Colorful Moon Festival in Koh Pha-Ngan. We also plan to organize the music festival on Koh Samui in order to draw music enthusiasts to travel to the island during the off travel season.
“For CMLV markets, which are Cambodia, Myanmar, Laos and Vietnam, we plan to invest more on integrated-advertisements in these countries to urge travelers from these countries to travel to Thailand via our Bangkok Airways network, especially to visit some of our renowned beach destinations in Samui, Phuket, Krabi and Trat. Moreover, we will work closely with tourism-related organizations in the Indo-China region to create tourism campaigns that help generate demand for cross-region travels.
“For European markets, we have launched the “Five Unseen Paradises” campaign with our airline partners that operate the flights to and from Europe to bring more passengers to our five destinations which are Trat, Sukhothai, Chiang Rai, Lampang and Danang (Vietnam). We are currently in talks with one of top football teams of Europe in order to become their regional airline partner. This cooperation will not only help elevate Bangkok Airways brand, but also help us reach out to new customer bases in other regions.
“For Thailand markets, we will continue to focus on building customer loyalty and expanding our client groups through various tailored-made campaigns such as the U Fare by Bangkok Airways campaign that offers great fares and amazing benefits to college students. This is an extended version of our 2017 U Fare campaign, yet with more of a cutting-edge approach that we expect will attract more college students and teachers to enroll and travel with us. For those who are interested in taking advantage of this campaign, they can go to www.bangkokair.com/ufare for more details. Additionally, we will continue promoting our Resident Card campaign which offers our passengers who reside in Samui, Trat and Sukhothai to able to fly at more reasonable fares.
“For our existing customers, especially our Frequent Flyer Program – FlyerBonus members, we plan to offer some exclusive privileges and events throughout the year such as exclusive trips, and exclusive concerts. Moreover, we will work with our partners in offering more benefits to our members in order to add incentives for them to stay loyal to our brand.” Mr. Prote added.
Mr Varong Israsena Na Ayudhya – Vice President-Sales, revealed his 2018 sales plan stating that, “This year, Bangkok Airways will concentrate on the CMLV countries which are Cambodia, Myanmar, Laos and Vietnam, as we foresee that these countries project notable economic growth and high travel demand. Currently, Bangkok Airways operates more than 40 flights between Thailand via Bangkok (Suvarnabhumi and Chiang Mai) and these four countries yet we are planning to add more frequency, plus introduce new services to meet the growing travel demand. In order to assist in creating more travel demand, especially in these countries, we have launched the “Go Samui” promotion, allowing travelers from CLMV countries to travel to Samui from their home country as a single fare. We have noticed that this promotion is being well received from these markets and thus we are planning to launch similar promotions in other destinations of Bangkok Airways as well, such as Trat, Sukhothai, Chiang Mai and Chiang Rai.
“Apart from the mentioned markets above, we are eyeing the Chinese market, especially Hong Kong, Guangzhou, Chengdu, and Chongqing which are growing in terms of economic scale. Bangkok Airways currently operates daily non-stop flights between Samui-Hong Kong, Samui-Chengdu, Samui-Guangzhou and Samui-Chongqing and is planning to launch new charter services to Xi-An and Changsha in the near future. Furthermore, we have worked with some of the major Chinese tour operators in selling packages to Samui, and we will continue working with more travel companies in order to bring more Chinese tourists to the island.
“In 2018, we plan to increase our online travel agent (OTA) revenue by 30 percent. Last month, we signed a commercial MOU with Expedia Co, one of the world’s leading online travel companies. This collaboration will enable Bangkok Airways to offer our passengers a broader choice of booking channels via the extensive platforms that Expedia makes available. On beyond that, we are planning to sign more MOUs with a few more global online travel companies as well as some local online companies in non-English speaking countries such as Spain and Russia.
“We still remain interested in other continents such as the Americas, South Africa and Europe, especially, Russian speaking countries such as Russia, Kazakhstan and Uzbekistan that project high spending power, has encouraged us to appoint sales representatives in these counties. Apart from making our presence known at world-class travel fairs like ITB Berlin and the World Travel Mart in London, we will also attend tradeshows in Chinese and Russian speaking countries to broaden our presence in these markets.
“For domestic sales, we plan to tap into the corporate travel sector and government travel sector as we see higher traveling demand in these two particular groups. We believe that our products are very well suited for these travelers. For Thai markets, we will roll out some special promotions throughout the year as well as attending some important domestic travel fairs including the Thai Tiew Thai Fair and the Samui Travel Fair to generate advance sales.” added Mr. Varong.