Distinction in travel journalism
Is independent travel journalism important to you?
Click here to keep it independent

28 Nov, 2016

Chatrachai Bunya-Ananta, President, Thai Airways International

ASEAN Travel & Tourism Hall of Fame – Initiated by Travel Impact Newswire Executive Editor Imtiaz Muqbil to recognise the many veterans who helped grow and shape ASEAN tourism over the last 50 years.

Chatrachai Bunya-ananta

Date of Birth: 6 November, 1932

Date of Passing: 18 April 2015

Marital Status: Married with two daughters, one grandson and one granddaughter.


1947 Assumption College, Bangkok

1951 St. Stevens College, Hong Kong

1951-53 Portsmouth Technical College, UK

1954-56 Cardiff University College, University of Wales, UK B.A. Economics & Accountancy

1968 Management Programme Cranfield College of Technology, UK

1979 Advanced Management Program Harvard University, USA

1985 National Defense College Programme Bangkok (one year programme for selected senior professional and military leaders)


1958-60 Commissioned into Royal Thai Police Force

1962 Sales Development Officer, BOAC Thailand, subsequently promoted to Area Sales Manager (Thailand)

1960-71 BOAC – initially station officer trainee in UK followed by assignment in Europe, Africa and North America

1971 Joined Thai Airways International as Deputy Director Marketing

1972 Director of Marketing

1974 Vice President, Marketing

1984 Executive Vice President, Business and Commercial

1992 Appointed the first civilian President of THAI Airways International Ltd. Retired September 30 1993

Served briefly as Chairman of PB Air after his retirement.

Over the course of his career, Mr Chatrachai served as Chairman of Royal Orchid Hotel (Thailand) Co. Ltd., Sheraton Royal Orchid Hotel Co. Ltd., Phuket Flight Kitchen Company, Orient Airlines Association and the Board of Airline Representatives in Thailand. He was also at various times Director on the boards of the Dusit Thani Group, Ital-Thai Group, Airports Authority of Thailand, Amari Airport Hotel, Thai Chamber of Commerce, Pacific Area Travel Association, ASEAN Travel Association, East Asia Travel Association, Tourism Authority of Thailand and the Thai Farmers Bank.

Senator, National Assembly of Thailand


Royal Decorations; Knight Commander (Second Class) of the Most Noble Order of the Crown of Thailand

Commander (Third Class) of the Most Exalted Order of the White Elephant

Contribution to ASEAN Tourism

His marketing flair helped THAI grow from a small regional carrier into a major international airline, becoming the most important player in the promotion of tourism to Thailand until his retirement. As widebody jets were introduced, Thai Airways expanded its routenet in Europe as well as to new destinations such as Bali, Penang, Tehran, Baghdad and Kathmandu. He also led Thai Airways’ marketing blitz for the success of 1987 Visit Thailand Year. Led the team that designed the distinctive Thai Airways livery and logo, which is still in use today.

A charismatic public speaker, one of his most notable achievements was Thai Airways’ annual Marketing Activity Plan (MAP) meetings where the global travel and aviation media was invited to hear about the future plans, and which were held annually for almost 20 years.

Date of passing

18 April 2015.