The incoming boss of SRT Electric Train Co says the Airport Rail Link needs a stronger selling point.
Phirakan: ‘Struggling against poor image’
Phirakan Kaeowongwattana says he is looking forward to taking on the challenge of strengthening the rail service when he starts work next month.
His appointment is awaiting company shareholder approval.
The rail service linking Phaya Thai in central Bangkok with Suvarnabhumi airport has not done as well as expected, but he aims to change that.
"The SRT Electric Train Co struggles against a negative image," Mr Phirakan said. "The company lacks confidence as a result."
The 28km Airport Rail Link, which opened in 2010, is aimed at helping Bangkok residents avoid crowded traffic and speeding up their travel to the airport, but the service has attracted fewer passengers than hoped for despite offers of discounted fares.
Mr Phirakan said one problem is the company has been too slow to develop services to meet people's needs. For a start, the Airport Rail Link needs more trains to meet peak demand and cover its maintenance needs, he said.
Mr Phirakan applied for the top job at SRT Electric Train Co while working as a special lecturer at King Mongkut's Institute of Technology's Lat Krabang campus.
Many students take the Airport Rail Link trains to the university and shared their views on the service with him.
He began gathering information about the company.
Mr Phirakan believes SRT Electric Train Co is in a similar position to Simat Technologies Plc, a technology service provider where he once served as an executive. "SRT Electric Train Co lacks a selling point," he said.
The company, which is owned by the State Railway of Thailand (SRT), will meet this month to have the final say on Mr Phirakan's contract, SRT Electric Train Co chairman Chamroon Tangpaisarnkit said.
About the author
- Writer: Amornrat Mahitthirook