Thai Vietjet dominated the market share for domestic air freight in Thailand for the third quarter, according to the country’s aviation authority, and this may sound unusual if you knew that the airline does not own a single freighter. Payload Asia talks to Pinyot Pibulsonggram, commercial director at Thai Vietjet, to discuss the airline’s recent performance and learn more about its cargo operations.
Thai Vietjet topped other Thai airlines in terms of domestic cargo carried over the third quarter of 2021. Can you describe to us this recent feat?
According to the Civil Aviation Authority of Thailand (CAAT)’s quarterly transportation statistic report of the year 2021, Thai Vietjet placed first among all six Thai-registered carriers, with 42.2 percent share of domestic air freight transportation in Q3/2021, making Thai Vietjet win top share of both passengers and cargo together for the first time.
As a combination carrier, what are the main challenges in your cargo operations?
With the challenge of COVID-19 in the past two years, airlines are unable to only rely on passenger transportation as they used to. Thai Vietjet itself has utilized its capacity for air cargo transportation. In the pre-COVID time, the airline extended its flight network to many destinations in the region, with good preparation and handling of operational tasks, as well as extensive partnership, enabling the airline to smoothly convert part of capacity into and operate air cargo services since the pandemic. This is one of the key factors for the airline’s success in air cargo transportation.
One of the biggest challenges for Thai Vietjet in terms of cargo operation is that we do not have a freighter fleet to provide more capacity for each flight upon market demand. However, we have overcome this by fully maximizing and optimizing current capacity with efficient cargo handling, arranging cargo in passenger cabins following authority’s instruction, and having favorable commercial policies to support partners accordingly for different routes. This is all about flexibility and utilization of the existing resources.
Fast decision & action, more routes and reliable quality cargo services are also of the key successes of Thai Vietjet. Regarded as one of the fastest-growing carriers in the country, the airline also provides increasing capacity to meet market demand for both passengers and cargo service.
Where does Thai Vietjet position itself in the cargo arena?
Thai Vietjet focuses on key regional markets and plays a proactive role as well in meeting cargo demand and contributing to the development of this market.
For Thailand’s domestic cargo transportation market, we will remain in the leading position and diversify with more products and services for various customers.
Can you describe the Thai air cargo market? How has it changed? What are the new developments that could drive growth for air cargo and logistics players in Bangkok?
Thailand’s domestic air cargo market is not very big, so Thai Vietjet focuses more on the international market.
With good land transport infrastructure, it’s not easy for air transportation to penetrate the market at the moment. So diversifying products, adding more value to current services would help the airline gain more share on cargo.
How are you marketing your cargo capacity?
We have GSAs for different markets but also work with different partners to maximise any business opportunity.
What are the opportunities for the airline and what are your near-term plans?
The market will soon recover though gradually, there will be more demand for both passengers and cargo transportation. Moreover, Thai Vietjet will be announcing more international routes in the coming times, enabling the airline to connect each route with cargo transportation, increasing chances and opportunities for the airline to boost demand.