Thai Air Asia, the new experience above the sky
Since 2004, Air Asia has launched its first operation from Bangkok (Don Mueang) to Chiang Mai. At that time, it was a new experience in aviation business. “In the first year, no one knew about a low-cost airline. Also, talking about low cost would get only negative thoughts such as an old aircraft, no experience cabin crews, and pilots and you have to pay any additional service prices.” Tatsapon Blackwell, the CEO of Thai Air Asia told us about how he started this Thai Air Asia airline. “In the first 3 years, we tried to make people understand what low-cost is. Low-cost does not mean low quality. Low-cost does not mean any safety. It is not a bad thing and it is needed to be proved by action. And all this time, I have proved that a good thing with the low price does exist at Air Asia.”
From the first year until now, many things have changed. The domestic aviation market has grown from 6 million passengers in 2004 to 60 million in 2019. The reason is low-cost airlines are growing including Thai Air Asia who is the market leader with 33% of market share. This is a big change. 30-40% of 60 million domestic tourists are foreign tourists who transit to other provinces. Also, Thailand is the relaxing destination and the center to travel to CLMV countries
From this point, Thai Air Asia started the cross region travel and 65% of all flights is the cross region such as from Chiang Mai to Surat Thani, Krabi, and Hat Yai, from Khon Kaen, Udon Thani to Phuket, Krabi, Hat Yai. These cross-region routes are the new experience for every passenger with easier transportation without wasting time for transiting at Bangkok. Moreover, it is a low-cost airline that helps and gives more chances to students for educational travelling as one-day trip at other provinces or our neighborhood countries.
A new and special experience onboard is the important thing. Thai Air Asia has joined hands with After You to create a new and exclusive in-flight menu option, “After You Hokkaido Lava Toast”. Moreover, another new service has been introduced as INSPI(RED) Burger with Sai Au and Nam Prik Noom, created by Chef Ambassador Hong Thaimee. This makes in-flight meals much livelier. Apart from the service, Thai Air Asia is thinking about something new to create a great experience for its customers such as AVA, the AI chatbot service, and a new campaign “Delivering a funny experience” that resulted in increasing the 30% of self-check-in passengers.
Communication is the most important factor in delivering the experience to customer which Thai Air Asia emphasize on safety, new route, the cheapest ticket, and punctuality via many advertisements such as new aircraft but experienced pilot, the late auntie, and Nadech, Thai famous actor, as the presenter of the Thai Northeastern route.
As the CEO, Tatsapon Blackwell has experienced in many flights to truly understand passengers. This has brought a new development design for the best experience to target customers. K.Tatsapon told us about the first year incident that he met the customer that traveled from Chiang Mai to Bangkok. That passenger took photos of everything on the plane by his film camera along the way. At Bangkok K.Tatsapon just knew that that passenger was the representative of some village to try the 9 Baht promotion flight from Chiang Mai. Is it possible to fly? Do they need to bring a mat to sit on the plane? These were the answers that made K.Tatsapon understand his target group and can develop the business plan correctly.
This is the Thai Air Asia story that has changed the Thai people traveling experience. From the first day as a low-cost airline to the best budget world airline for many years.
Reference: The Beyond Experience seminar by Prachachart Newspaper & SCB