Vietnam Airlines and Thai Airways join opening keynote

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Teerapol Chotichanapibal, Thai Airways


Le Hong Ha, Vietnam Airlines

We’re excited to announce that Vietnam Airlines EVP Mr. Le Hong Ha and Thai Airways EVP of Commercial Mr. Teerapol Chotichanapibal are keynote speakers to open the Aviation Festival Asia 2017 on 21 February in Singapore.

Below is a quick review on these two airlines’ position and influence in the Asia Pacific region.

Vietnam Airlines
Vietnam Airlines (VNA) is expanding in a market that IATA estimates will be among the top five fastest-growing in the next 20 years based on passengers added, as economic growth makes travel affordable for more people.

VNA and its affiliates Jetstar Pacific and Vietnam Air Services, known as Vasco, have about 60 percent of domestic market share, according to the carrier’s data. VNA owns 70 percent of budget carrier Jetstar Pacific, with Qantas holding the remaining 30 percent. The airline reached a record 20 million passengers in 2016 and predicts 10 percent passenger growth next year.

Though the expansion is seen as positive by many in the aviation community, VNA is beginning to feel the effects of accelerated growth marred by overloaded airports, crowded airspace, stressed flight attendants and of course, the fierce competition from its rivalry VietJetAir.

Thai Airways
Thai Airways is one of the recent success turnaround stories in Asia Pacific. The flag carrier is bringing expansion of international services back on its radar after shrinking them for the past two years as part of a restructuring programme that has helped the airline to cut losses.

In 2017, the airline will take delivery of seven new planes, including the purchase of two Airbus 350-900s and five under-lease contracts, while decommissioning two old ones in a bid to expand its fleet and keep maintenance costs low.

In order to maximise profits in the long term, the airline needs to boost passenger yields, especially in the domestic market where the price competition is intense. The airline is currently working on a 10-year business plan. As part of its long-term strategy, Thai Airways will look to hike its online sales, which currently account for only 13-14 percent of its total ticket sales, compared with about 30 percent for Singapore Airlines and more than 50 percent for budget carriers.


Thai Airways shares have more than doubled this year, outperforming a 15-percent rise for the main Thai stock index. Source: Bloomberg.


In our exciting keynote interview session, VNA’s EVP Mr. Le Hong Ha and Thai Airways’ EVP of Commercial Mr. Teerapol Chotichanapibal will share their views on what it takes to thrive in their home markets, challenges in Asia Pacific the coming years, their expansion plans and partnership opportunities.

Here’s the review of their sessions hosted by Bloomberg:

Day One, 21 February 2017

9:00 am |Keynote Interviews:

Join us for a series of exclusive interviews, where leaders of major airlines outline what it takes to succeed, and how they are planning to keep succeeding as the industry continues to ‘fly’ forward. Find out their thoughts on what the major game changers will be, how they are continuing to innovate their business models to remain competitive and their plans for the future of their airline.

10:00 am | Aviation Leaders Panel: Asia Pacific aviation outlook

Asia Pacific remains a standout growth market for the aviation industry. Following their in-depth interviews,  these leaders come together to  debate some of the major challenges facing the sector, including:

  • How to keep revenues ahead of costs where a lot of the costs are outside of your control?
  • To hedge or not to hedge: In a low oil price environment, how important is hedging to profitability?
  • Customers want to pay a sensible price but still have growing expectations. How can the industry cope with the best-in-class expectations, while seeking sustainable profitability?
  • What will unlock growth for the industry?
  • What are the major trends that will drive aviation in the future?

Join us!

Check out our website here to see how you can get involved.

Want to join us as a guest speaker? Email me at

About Aviation Festival Asia
Now entering its 13th year, Aviation Festival Asia is one of the largest and most well-established commercial aviation shows for airline and airport executives from both the Asia Pacific region and across the world. In 2017, we are expecting to welcome over 2,000 attendees to the event, with over 900 airline executives across 7 premium conference tracks covering full service and low cost airline strategy & business models, passenger experience, marketing, IT systems, retail, human capital and more. Book your ticket now

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