Thai moves on SA plans

CLIVEDEN Solutions, an international airline sales and marketing representation firm, is setting up offices in South Africa with the primary intention of promoting Thai Airways in Africa.

Cliveden Solutions’ newly appointed manager for Africa, Isla Moffett, is establishing offices for the GSA in Johannesburg. Isla was previously with Border Air.

Industry sources believe this is part of Thai Airways’ intention to launch direct flights to South Africa, however Isla says Cliveden Solutions’ promotion of Thai Airways will be offline only.

In July, the Tourism Authority of Thailand told Travel  & Meetings Buyer it was in negotiations with Thai Airways to reintroduce a direct flight between South Africa and Bangkok. At the time, director of the TAT office in London, Chiravadee Khunsub, expressed confidence that the negotiations would be successful: “It ties in with our strategy to grow tourist numbers from South Africa to 120 000 passengers – up from the 102 000 recorded in 2018 – by the next financial year.”

“Our foremost task will be to help Thai Airways further grow its presence in the African market, one it does not serve directly. Thai Airways will continue to strengthen an already expansive list of convenient connection options through its Star Alliance and codeshare partners,” Isla says.

“This will be Cliveden Solutions’ first move into Africa. The continent has been earmarked as one of the most underdeveloped airline markets and we see a lot of potential for growth here,” she says.

“We are establishing offices in Johannesburg as it is the airline gateway into Africa. We are also in the process of setting up a satellite office in Cairo, which will service the North African market.”

 “Cliveden Solutions harvests incremental revenue for airlines and travel brands by aligning data modelling to commercial strategy. Isla’s natural inclination towards these essential brand pillars, along with her impressive résumé, made her the obvious choice to lead our African expansion,” said Patrick Stepanek, ceo of Cliveden Solutions.