Voluntarism or wishful thinking : “Thai Airways’s ranking plunges but we aim at 5 stars”

THAI president Piyasvasti Amranand said he was confident that the flag carrier could attain a five-star rating from Skytrax, a UK-based research firm which polls passengers worldwide on the quality of airlines. […]

THAI’s rating plunged to 10th in the world last year from fourth place in 2008, according to the highly regarded Skytrax survey, which polled more than 16 million air travellers from over 95 nationalities.

The poll backs growing criticism of the quality of service offered by the flag carrier compared with other global airlines, which seem to work harder and spend more money on attracting international travellers.

THAI ranked second in 2007. (Bangkok Post)

I mean you have to admire the guy… Somebody else would have said  “damned, we are in deep doo doo, our ranking is falling faster than one of our old B747 during take off”. But not Piyasvasti.

Is it an extreme and positive voluntarism ? A joyful naivete ? Or wishful thinking ? Or just a classic string to the “good old ways” (read : saving face) ?

I would like to remind you what the Thai Airways president said just 3 months ago… About his company.

“The management had not really been allowed to manage the company,” Mr Piyasvasti said in an unusually frank interview.

“The company had been interfered heavily by the board, by the politicians.

“Thai Airways was a company which did not provide transparent information to investors,” he said.

“Thai Airways management were not able to provide clear directions or policy to investors. Most of the big funds, whether in Thailand or outside Thailand, stayed away from Thai Airways stocks.”

Hum… 😉

Anyway. The ranking makes perfectly sense.

Thai Airways became the shadow of the image it had before. Political influences (politicians and the military), delirious unions, low level management, scandals (latest one : a VP caught his fingers into the honey pot with his 400 kilos of luggages), old fleet and no money to renew it, financial results in a black hole… and even… old female flight attendants !

The company is a perfect mixing of so many thai problems.

So rather to aim for a “5 stars ranking”, thanks to a re-fitting of business class seats (a program not even finished, meanwhile competitors are buying new airplanes)… Piyasvasti should perhaps… land a little bit, and continue the cleaning job.

Before to redo the painting, it’s necessary to clean first.

Thai Airways can’t compete right now against Singapore Airlines for instance. Or even Emirates.

I know, it’s bad for the thai proudness… But that’s a fact.

7 Responses to “Voluntarism or wishful thinking : “Thai Airways’s ranking plunges but we aim at 5 stars””


  1. 1 AnonymousCoward 13 January 2010 at 10:32 am

    “UK-based research firm which polls passengers”

    Which just shows why this technique yields crappy research and untrustworthy results. Ask a bunch of people who come from strongly nationalistic backgrounds and for whom freedom of expression is a novelty for their opinions… and get a meaningless result.

  2. 2 Pricilla 13 January 2010 at 6:44 pm

    I think it was more that they were delighted that they had only fallen to #10, can still claim to be one of the top ten world airlines. Should get some millage out of that until they drop even more next time level with Air Sudan.

    By the war TC read on another blog people saying they were being blocked from this site, can’t see why though.

  3. 3 Lloyd 13 January 2010 at 8:14 pm

    If I was in any way involved with the management of Thai Airways I would be more concerned about the mounting debt and lifespan of their current fleet than paying out the old aged pensioners who wander the isles during each flight doing sweet f’ all.

    Everyone in the airline industry knows the state of Thai airways and at some point the service status and airworthyness of their aircraft will become a factor, especially within the Euro zone where already questions are being raised.

    Paying out large sums to over paid staff at such a time when the very aircraft they are flying in are some of the oldest and least upgraded in the industry is just like all the other bizzare business ideas floated by senior Thai exectutives.

  4. 4 Pricilla 14 January 2010 at 6:41 pm

    One last thought about this. Seeing that JAL likely going bankrupt, now if the Japanese cannot even run a state airline what possible hope in hell have the Thais got? Also Qantas was privatized long ago as the government didn’t want to be saddled with an airline.

  5. 5 Bedwyr 14 January 2010 at 7:22 pm

    In some ways, the decline of THAI is a metaphor for what has been happening overall to Thailand.

    Everything is turning to shit, and the legendary Thai smiling faces are neither legendary nor smiling any more. Thailand is now being seen for what it is, and the elite Thais for what they are. No amount of ‘delay and double-speak’ (of which Thais are so proud but which everyone else calls by their proper title, lies and bullshit) will cover it up. There is not enough lipstick to make this pig look anything else but porcine.

    I hope those responsible (and we know who they are) are proud of what they have done and are still doing. I heard 2 days ago that many foreigners are just selling up and leaving them to it.

    Seems sensible

  6. 6 ThaiCrisis 14 January 2010 at 9:38 pm

    ->Pricilla : you can find the best in Japan. And the worst. And I mean the very worst…

    JAL is a perfect example. A company that was never allowed to take decisive actions… Example of the “2 decades lost” syndrome and insane QE policies (instead of cutting the dead trees, the government threw money in order to “cover up” the situation).

    But of course, the best part is that… currently virtually ALL governments on this freaking planet are doing exactly the same ! Instead of taking the losses, destroy and then rebuild something better, they just throw insane amounts of money with the silly and childish hope that it will solve the problems.

    Welcome to the Global Financial Insanity.

    And only fools can think : it didn’t work for Japan…. but this time it’s different, it will work for us !

    Fools and arrogant.


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Thailand Crisis

Coup, Economic slowdown, Terror In the South... The situation is worsening in Thailand. Bumpy road like often before.

But this time, it's different.

The key to understand the present turmoil is the inevitable... succession of King Bhumibol.


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