Thai Cargo readies new business plan

Determined not to repeat “the same story,” Thai Airways International Cargo’s new boss has energetic plans to revitalise the carriers’ beleagured cargo division to make it a signficant force in the air cargo market.

Although these are clearly troubling times for the air cargo industry, if there is a positive element to it, the crisis has forced every carrier to closely examine its operations and strategic direction. For some, like Thai Cargo, the downturn has provided a useful opportunity to refocus and revitalise the division’s strategic direction.

Thai’s new managing director Cargo & Mail Commercial Department, Pruet Boobphakam, is clearly determined to not simply restore the cargo division to its former glory, but to take it much further as a key player in the air cargo market by carrying a much greater proportion of Thai exports and contributing a more signifiant portion of the group’s overall revenue.

The cargo division is pinning its hopes on a new business plan, which comes into effect next year, to help boost the company’s cargo revenue to Bt24 billion per annum from the current Bt20 billion (US$675.5 million).

Rebuilding cargo capacity
The cargo division saw its slow decline culminate last year when it was forced to retire its last remaining freighter – a B747-200 due to the impact of the record high fuel prices on the relatively inefficient747 Classic.

But the absence of any widebody, long range freighter capacity left Thai Cargo with only the belly capacity of Thai Airways’ fleet of 88 passenger aircraft putting it at severe disadvantage in terms of moving Thailand’s substantial exports.