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THAI Airways president calls for visa reform at PATA conference

THAI Airways president calls for visa reform at PATA conference

THAI Airways president Piyasvasti Amranand has called on the Pacific Asia Travel Association (PATA) to help make it easier for Thai nationals to get tourism visas.

Addressing 120 public and private sector travel industry executives at PATA Hub City Forum in Bangkok yesterday, he said, while e-visas were discussed at Davos, there were many small things destinations can do to help Thais travel to Europe.

Piyasvasti praised destinations that had no visa or streamlined tourism visa facilities.

“I think it is why we see so many Thais now going to Korea,” he said, “I think PATA should do more to get governments to ease the visa situation.”

In his speech - “Navigating the Headwinds” - Piyasvasti told the audience that THAI had a nine-point strategy for development and growth.

Wide-ranging hedging of oil prices to ensure cost stability, the leasing of modern, fuel-efficient aircraft, an extensive retro-fitting of older aircraft, a greater emphasis on Asian markets, reduced capacity to certain low yield European cities, and the launch of two low cost airlines were the central pillars THAI’s strategy.

The airline will take delivery of its first A380 in October.

Pandit Chanapai, THAI executive vice president of commercial, Bert Van Walbeek, PATA Thailand chapter, Piyasvasti Amranand, THAI president, Suraphon Svestasreni, governor of Tourism Authority of Thailand and Martin Craigs, PATA chief executive, at the event

The THAI also president lamented the aviation industry’s commitment to reduce carbon emissions by 50 per cent by 2050 as “ridiculous” given that aviation accounts for only two per cent of global CO2 emissions.

He described the Emission Trading Scheme recently implemented by the European Union as “unfair”, as it was calculated from point of origin and would therefore badly impact long haul carriers flying to Europe.