Bangkok, 14 May 2018 – Thai AirAsia Co., Ltd. announced leadership changes to power the new era of growth. CEO Tassapon Bijleveld will take on the role as Executive Chairman and supervise the company’s executive board, while longtime executive and founding member Santisuk Klongchaiya, current Director of Commercial, takes over as Chief Executive Officer of Thai AirAsia effective today.
Tassapon Bijleveld, Executive Chairman of Asia Aviation Plc. (AAV) and Thai AirAsia Co. Ltd. (TAA), said the changes to the leadership positions will improve business flexibility within the carrier. In his new role, Tassapon will be in charge of executive policy in the interest of sustainable growth. The company’s executive board and management directors have given their full support to the development, voicing confidence in promoting Santisuk Klongchaiya, who has been instrumental in the airline’s growth from its inception, to the role of CEO.
“I assure that I am still a part of AirAsia. My focus will now be on the overall executive picture and the company’s direction in seeking out new opportunities for sustainable growth. I will also focus on enacting government policies and collaborating with private sectors to ensure Thailand establishes a leading position in the aviation industry. I rejoice to have Santisuk as the new CEO because he has been the key executive at TAA from the start. His visionary leadership, coupled with his marketing acumen, have been behind the success of TAA for the past 10 years. I am certain that TAA will continue to move forward stronger than ever,” Tassapon said.
Santisuk Klongchaiya, who is promoted to Chief Executive Officer of both AAV and TAA, said that the past 11 years have been a time of pride and joy for him as he was able to watch the TAA family grow to its full potential, continually learning from mistakes and never ceasing to develop. The new challenge as CEO will bring about stable and sustainable progress for the company as he affirms his commitment to working closely with Allstars in steering TAA and AAV forward.
“TAA’s strong foundation is built on the capability of its staff and its robust internal culture, which will continue to power its growth. We will never stop developing and we have a clear plan for progress. We are ready to adopt innovations and to bring new opportunities and experiences to our guests,” Santisuk added.
Santisuk was appointed as Director of Commercial of TAA back in 2007 when low-cost carrier was still a novelty. The posting was a considerable challenge with the initial task being to establish AirAsia as an eminent and trusted brand. Santisuk became Tassapon’s right-hand man in developing business strategy as well as marketing, sales and public relations policies. With his creativity and eye for opportunity, Santisuk was able to set Thai AirAsia apart and help it rise above its peers in the aviation industry. He conceptualized the “Truly Low Fares, Trusted Quality” campaign to establish Thai AirAsia as more than a low fares carrier and as one offering quality services such as punctuality, attention to safety and an extensive network of destinations. The campaign strengthened Thai AirAsia’s position as an airline of value, growing its loyalty, market share and maintaining it as a leader.
In terms of operations and management, Santisuk has worked closely with Tassapon at TAA for over ten years and has been with the airline through all of its trials and tribulations. He is an approachable, reliable, and decisive leader who maintains good rapport with the company’s Allstars.