THAI revamps website

THAI rolls up its sleeves to improve sales and services via the internet.

After a slow start, Thai Airways International is now getting up to speed on website sales in order to stay competitive.

The airline has set up a new sales group within the management to look after online sales with a target to grow sales from 5% to 8% an improvement from 3% achieved in 2008.

THAI vice president, information technology department, Sopit Pokasoowan, runs technical support. He argued the airline's webpage was too formal for a sales site and too slow when making bookings, resulting in a decision to upgrade and streamline the system.

"With the new look, customers will see fare bargains on the front page with a faster booking process that has been simplified. The speed of booking is has doubled, but there is still room for improvement."

There are other components that need to be revamped to deliver better services, he said.

Inventory is one of them to ensure that the online sales site has the same data that is available to travel agents so as to avoid duplicate bookings. At the moment, inventory on the site, what is provided by the GDS, Amadeus, is not compatible. The two systems link only periodically, which leaves room for mistakes during the down time.

Verification of Royal Orchid Plus members and credit cards is now handled by Amadeus and this needs to be revamped to speed up the booking process.