The new president of state-owned Thai Airways International (THAI) has set a profit target of 5 billion baht for the national carrier next year.
Sorajak: Aiming high
Sorajak Kasemsuvan, who took the top job last month after Piyasvasti Amranand was sacked in June, said he will push for a management strategy focusing on increasing THAI's revenue to 224 billion baht - an increase of 11-12% - next year, pushing profits up to about 5 billion baht.
Mr Sorajak made the statement yesterday after his first meeting with the THAI board since he took office on Oct 9.
He said he will table the strategy to the THAI board for consideration on Dec 14.
Mr Sorajak said this year revenue was expected to be 202 billion baht.
Profit of about 3 billion baht is anticipated, he added, which is 50% below the company's target.
The numbers highlight the need for THAI to more effectively manage its different business units such as catering and cargo, he said, as well as increase the proportion of online ticket sales by 15% to remain competitive.
Mr Sorajak stressed the importance of online bookings, although he said details still need to be discussed on how online air-ticketing systems will be implemented.
THAI senior management is expected to meet today to discuss details of the plan to boost online sales.
Mr Sorajak said there was still no need to seek business allies to expand Nok Air, of which THAI is the main shareholder at 49%, and Thai Smile, its new low-cost offshoot, because the two budget airlines and THAI provide services to different customers. Their businesses do not overlap, he said.
Mr Sorajak said that fuel costs account for up to 40% of the company's total operating costs.
The THAI board has now set up a committee to oversee and manage fuel costs, he said.
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- Writer: Amornrat Mahitthirook